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How to make schools peaceful and democratic institutions of learning?
In the government sector, the education reform schemes seem to have failed one after the another because of ineffective implementation and administrative setup.

The government schools are being closed or merged since they are not getting enough enrollments. Those governments schools which are running, are marred with low quality of education and exploitation of children and social tensions mutually causing distrust between teachers and students giving rise to increased violence on the senior school premises.

Increasing violence in educational institutions, politicization of education, lack of quality education and violation of educational rights and other maladies of the system itself cannot be corrected by patchwork of opening model schools, changing content or ranking institution which further aggravates the situation through exclusion and marginalization, I feel.

It is being held by many well meaning educators that violence is emerging in an unprecedented manner in human society. Looking at the world today any sensible person feels disheartened and even horrified to see the kind of violent acts being committed by man against man as well as against nature.

Although, the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, subscribed for peace and non-violence, but it is sad to realize that we live in an era of violence in the forms of terrorism, war, crimes, injustice, oppression and exploitation amidst a seemingly outward development enjoyed by a few. Whole education seems to have become meaningless.

According to Federico Mayor, peace is possible for life at all stages and it is up to man to choose his destiny or to suffer from the horrors of aggression. He further adds that today, mankind is at the crossroads where he has to choose right path with courage, determination and imagination.

In such a situation, we need to go for non-aggression in education and learning. The non-aggression or peace principle is an ethical stance associated with the cooperative learning and rights-based education movements.

The psycho-social researches have proved that aggressive and violent behaviour is a reaction against a lack of constructive and cooperative experiences rather than an innate natural drive. The basic urge of human beings is to live love which needs to be fostered and nurtured through education.

The principle of peace and non-violence needs to be built into the process of education itself. For this, the following three things need to be done without any change in the content of curriculum.

- Peace education process establishes democratic classrooms that teach cooperation and promote positive self-esteem among students.

-Teachers serve as peaceful role models to help to counteract images of violent behaviour young people receive through popular culture and in their homes.

- Their teaching style adjusts to the developmental needs of their pupils, respecting the various identities and concerns about violence students bring to the classroom.

We must rebuild our education system on the principle of peace and deemphasize competition and promote cooperation and democratic processes in the educational institutions.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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