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Education must seek to promote peace and tolerance, not fuel hatred and suspicion: UN
Many curricula on peace education for value-orientation of students are available as a part of social studies and environmental studies (EVS) at the school level but there are a few takers. Even most state education boards allow about one-third of the course of EVS to be contextualized by the local schools as an innovation, but schools hardly take up any initiatives.

United Nations (UN) has founded an International Peace Research Association, supported by UNESCO. At UNESCO, there exists a Peace Education Commission to bring together educators to promote a culture of peace. Besides, UNESCO, the Peace Education Network, based in London too is promoting peace through education.

Also, UNICEF has been promoting peace education among children and states, disputes may be inevitable, but violence is not. To prevent continued cycles of conflict, education must seek to promote peace and tolerance, not fuel hatred and suspicion”.

UNESCO has been urging the participation of global civil society in building a culture of peace and has appealed, "A culture of peace will be achieved when citizens of the world understand global problems, have the skills to resolve conflicts and struggle for justice non-violently, live by international standards of human rights and equity, appreciate cultural diversity, and respect the Earth and each other. Such learning can only be achieved with systematic education for peace."

Peace education has been made a topic of subjects like International Understanding, Human Rights; Global Education; Critical Pedagogy; Education for Liberation and Empowerment; Social Justice Education; Environmental Education; Life Skills Education; etc. However, no practical and applied aspects of peace education are implemented for students to imbibe a peaceful behaviour.

According to Article 26 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the UN, peace education is the one that is "directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms". It promotes "understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups" and furthers "the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace."

Peace education is being implemented in some institutions both as content and a process of education to understand the concept of peace and knowledge generated on it as well the processes leading to imbibe peace as a human value and development of the necessary attitudes, skills, and behaviors to live in harmony with oneself, society and natural environment.

UNESCO deems peace education as a right of children and has advocated its integration with human rights education. According to Ian Harris and John Synott, peace education is meant for seeking non-violent alternatives for managing conflict and life skills for critical analysis of structural arrangements that produce and legitimize injustice and inequality.

The programmes like Jeewan Vigyan of Jain Vishava Bharati in Rajasthan have addressed peace as a spiritual dimension of inner harmony, stress management, non-violent life skills and process of humanistic worldview transformation. According to Van Slyck, Stern and Elbedour, approaches of this type aim to alter beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours from negative to positive attitudes toward inner and outer conflict as a basis for preventing violence.

Some new approaches to peace education are starting from insights from positive psychology which recognizes. H.B. Danesh has proposed an "Integrative Theory of Peace" in which peace is understood as a psychosocial, political, moral and spiritual reality. Peace education, he says, must focus on the healthy development and maturation of human consciousness through assisting people to examine and transform their worldviews.

Here is my ABC verse on peace education.

A: Authentic process of transformation towards inner and outer harmony to end conflicts

B: Behaviours and attitudes formation for human bonding and living in harmony

C: Conflict-positive orientation of learners by regarding conflict an inseparable and a beneficial aspect of human nature, social relations and a matter of learning and resolution

D: Developing beliefs, attitudes, skills, practices and behaviours of non-violent life style  

E: Engendering an attitude and commitment to structural peace by ensuring individual members of the human race personal freedoms and their protection from violence, oppression and indignity.

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