Report from Workshop on Peace Education for Educators in Southeast Asia, January 19 to 23, 2009

The Center for Peace Education (CPE) in cooperation with GPPAC-SEA Peace Education Working Group organized the Workshop on Peace Education for Educators in Southeast Asia. Financial support came from CORDAID and GPPAC.

The training sought to: train a core of formal and community educators on the knowledge base, attitudes, and skills that comprise peace education; encourage them to generate doable action plans that they can implement in their schools, organizations and/or communities; encourage them to serve as a beginning core team for the promotion of peace education in their country. The workshop also sought to enable the group to build on the beginnings of a Southeast Asia Peace Education Network that was started in September 2007.

There were 27 participants from 8 Southeast Asian countries: the Philippines, Burma/Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Timor Leste and Vietnam. Two Ministries of Education were represented (Cambodia and the Philippines) and the rest were either educators from the formal school system or from community-based organizations.

The results of a qualitative evaluation questionnaire given at the end of the workshop showed that they have found the workshop helpful. They also indicated many types of significant learnings. The main outputs were doable action plans prepared by the country teams to help build a culture of peace in their respective spheres. Two of the most frequently mentioned plans were: sharing their learnings with other teachers and exerting efforts to integrate the peace ideas, perspectives and values that they acquired into the content of their education programs as well as in their student or youth activities.

Peace education upholds the values of respect for human dignity, nonviolence, socio-economic justice, tolerance and other peace values that are deemed essential toward a sustainable and humane society. Key to the promotion of these values would be the training of those who, in turn, can promote the knowledge among other teachers and community educators. Hence it is deemed important to undertake this type of training regularly until a pool of trained participants can organize themselves as a peace education core group for each of the countries. It is also because of this goal that having a coordinator per country is essential. At the moment this work of coordination is being done by many of the GPPAC-SEA National Initiators or by their designated people, such as in Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia and Timor Leste.

Prepared by: Loreta Castro Chair, Peace Education Working Group GPPAC-SEA