OAS Inter-American Program on Education for Democratic Values and Practices

The Organization of American States (OAS) is an international organization which provides an umbrella for regional political dialogue that can then be transformed into strategic cooperation in a variety of areas, including conflict resolution education. Education, while a right in the Americas, still faces challenges in terms of improving quality, efficiency and equity. Citizenship education is a critical component in the democratization process. The OAS has played an important role in building a democratic and peace culture in the Americas through its Inter-American Program on Education for Democratic Values and Practices which was adopted at the Ministers of Education meeting in Trinidad and Tobago in 2005 and ratified by the OAS at its General Assembly meetings in 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2010. The program is a hemispheric alliance of private and public sector representatives with the long term goal to promote and strengthen the creation of a culture of democracy through education.

GPPAC Peace Education and Conflict Resolution Education Working Group

GPPAC, the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict, has five main program areas including: peace education and conflict resolution education, preventive action, dialogue and mediation, and human security. The Peace Education working group, which was represented at this meeting, focuses on five main goals: building the capacity of regional educators and practitioners, exchanging resources, promoting good practice and collaboration between NGOs and Ministries of Education, supporting exchanges between countries, and supporting and organizing regional conference. A brief overview of global initiatives is provided.

USA: Policy Updates on Conflict Resolution Education and Social and Emotional Learning

This presentation provides an overview of some of the pending federal legislation in the U.S. related to conflict management and social and emotional learning, as well as a review of some of the capacity building efforts in teacher preparation in the U.S. and state-wide examples of infrastructure development in conflict management in education and non-formal education settings for youth. Examples of states in the U.S. with current legislation in conflict management are also noted. Some suggest teacher training, some integration into the curriculum standards, while others seek integration into the school mission and discipline policy.

Ukraine: A course on the “Culture of Neighborhood”

In 2001 in the Ukraine, a new course, the “Culture of Neighborhood” was developed. Its development, approval and implementation provide a good example of successful partnerships among the Ministry of Education, civil society organizations and educational and scientific institutions.

Inter-Sectoral Approach to Fostering a Democratic Culture in Schools & Communities in the Caribbean

Trinidad and Tobago is coordinating an Organization of American States (OAS) funded project, “An Inter-Sectoral Approach to Fostering a Democratic Culture in Schools and Local Communities in the Caribbean”. The goal of the project is to contribute to local government and the education system through capacity- building and policy development in democracy, citizenship, and conflict education, focusing on youth in schools and communities in St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean.

Peace Education in the Philippines: from Policy to Practice

In the Philippines, Executive Order (EO) 570 “Institutionalization of Peace Education in Basic Education and Teacher Education”, was signed in 2006. To achieve this breakthrough, cooperation among non-governmental peace educators, the Department of Education and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) was forged. This cooperation took the form of in-service trainings, the creation of a Peace Education network and joint projects. Then OPAPP prepared the draft of the Executive Order for the Philippine President’s approval. The main goals of the Executive Order are: to mainstream peace education in the curriculum of basic education and teacher education and to enhance the knowledge and capacity of supervisors and teachers through the conduct of in-service trainings. Since the EO was signed, steps have been taken to achieve its main objectives.

Panama: National Program for the Prevention of Violence & Youth Delinquency

Panama is one of the countries working within the Organization of American States (OAS) framework for “Armanda Paz” or “Building Peace”. The regional project has been incorporated into the President’s new policy on security as one of their major prevention efforts. The program aims to provide youth with an opportunity to gather together and express their voices against violence, have opportunities to engage in learning new skills in sports, arts and education, and feel as though they have a stake in identifying what is needed to prevent violence.

Education for Peace Programmes in Montenegro and the Western Balkans

The Nansen Dialogue Center Montenegro, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Bureau for Educational services, has been implementing peace education programming. These programs combine teacher training and whole school approaches. Significant regional achievements have taken place including: the signing of the Declaration on Joint Cooperation and Cooperation with Civil Society Organizations signed by the deputy Ministers of Education and Science in Montenegro and the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Serbia. In addition, the first cross regional peace education exchange took place, organized by the Integration and Development Centre from the Ukraine and the Nansen Dialogue Center Montenegro along with support from the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC). The exchange was titled “School with Peace Education Brings Peace to the Society”.

Kenya: GPPAC Peace Education Conference

The goals of the education system in Kenya are to foster nationalism, patriotism and promote national unity. It also aims, among other things, to promote individual development and self fulfillment, sound moral and religious values, social equality and responsibility, and respect for and development of Kenya’s rich and varied cultures. Efforts to more fully integrate peace education into schools and education policy started in 2001 with the establishment of the National Steering Committee (NSC) on Peacebuilding and Conflict Management within the Office of the President in collaboration with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). A new peace education program was officially launched in December of 2008.

Guatemala: Opening Spaces for at-risk youth

Approximately two years ago, the President’s office in Guatemala initiated a new program, Open Schools. The program, administered by the Social Welfare Office in the President’s office, is a collaboration among the Ministries of Education, Communication, and Culture and Sport. The aim of the project is to provide Guatemalan youth with new tools that enable them to grow and develop while offering viable alternatives to poverty, violence, delinquency and the lack of educational opportunities.

Ghana: Peace Education Working Group Meeting

An overview of the Ministry of Education’s efforts in Ghana to provide relevant and quality education for all Ghanaians. Efforts continue to create a separate peace education course, while to date, peace education, problem solving and values education have been integrated into several classes. Teachers receive training during their teacher preparation to ensure that they are familiar with the content and are capable of providing this material to students.

Costa Rica Project: The School in Our Hands

The aim of the education system in Costa Rica is to develop critical, responsible and creative people who are able to make decisions and live peacefully and respectfully in a diverse democracy. One example of this new programming is the “School in Our Hands” model. This model, currently in 64 secondary education schools, is focused on a rights based approach with an aim to promote coexistence and human rights and enable students to practice democracy through modeling in student government as well as learn how to express themselves in a variety of ways through the arts.

Costa Rica Project: Ethic, Aesthetics and Citizenship

The aim of the education system in Costa Rica is to develop critical, responsible and creative people who are able to make decisions and live peacefully and respectfully in a diverse democracy. The curricular reform efforts have focused on ethics, aesthetics and citizenship. These themes are carried out in the new curricular revisions in civics education, arts, music and physical education.