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Uganda, 21 September 2015: International Day of Peace: Government and UNICEF promote teaching and learning for peace

21 September 2015, KAMPALA, Uganda – UNICEF and the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology, and Sports (MoESTS) have declared 21 September as a day of Learning and Teaching about Peace in all Schools in Uganda, as part of the activities to commemorate the International Day of Peace.

Observed since September 1982, the Day was dedicated towards strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.

The theme of this year’s commemoration is “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All” and aims at highlighting the importance of all segments of society to work together to strive for peace.

UNICEF through its Peacebuilding Education and Advocacy (PBEA) programme is working closely with the Ministry of Education, Science, technology and Sport (MoESTS) to bring the topic of peace into the classroom. Education has the potential to build the capacities of children, parents, teachers and community members to prevent, reduce and cope with conflict and to promote equality and peace. In addition, the benefits from investments in education are tremendous and well documented. They include greater economic growth, improved public health and more resilient and peaceful societies. It is for these reasons and more that UNICEF and the Education Ministry have decided to promote peace in schools. Children and adolescents have a unique role to play being future citizens and leaders.

To achieve this, primary and secondary education institutions across Uganda shall utilise elements of the curriculum that promote peace, and plan their lessons around the theme. In addition, schools have been encouraged to mark the day with other extra-curricular activities for example Music, Dance and Drama (MDD) performances, class debates and presentations, school competitions (games and sports), all around the theme.

“The Primary and Secondary curricula in Uganda already contains elements of peace education that are often not prioritised by teachers because these are not examinable subjects,” says Hon. Jessica Alupo, Minister of Education and Sports. “On this day therefore, we would like teachers across Uganda to utilise any elements of the curriculum that promote peace,” she added.

The recently endorsed Sustainable Development Goals also call for the promotion of just, peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, the provision of access to justice for all, and building effective, accountable institutions at all levels. This is stipulated in Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

Partnerships are critical in promoting peace. Among the key highlights of the UNICEF PBEA programme is the strengthened partnership with Government and Civil Society at central and district levels around an ‘education for peacebuilding’ agenda that recognizes and promotes the role of education to build sustainable peace. Through such strategic partnerships, UNICEF has worked extensively with the Government of Uganda to develop a national Peacebuilding Policy, especially towards strengthening its inclusivity of women, children, and youth.

According to Ms. Aida Girma, UNICEF Representative in Uganda, peace building is not new to UNICEF. Helping children live in peace has been at the core of UNICEF’s work since its inception.

Girma has called on stakeholders to promote peace within their programmes. “With a peaceful nation, ALL children will have a chance to enjoy their childhood as well as contribute towards building a peaceful nation tomorrow,” she concludes.

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About UNICEF
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information, please contact:

Jaya Murthy, Chief of Communication, UNICEF Uganda, +256 772 171 100, jmurthy@unicef.org

Catherine Ntabadde Makumbi, Communication Specialist, UNICEF Uganda, +256 772 629567, +256 703 729567, cntabadde@unicef.org

 

 
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