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Cluster Office for Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syrian Arab Republic, Autonomous Palestinian Territories
Culture of Peace
Transdisciplinary Programme: Towards a Culture of Peace

International Decade for the Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World (2001-2010)

The United Nations General Assembly, commending UNESCO for its role as focal point for the International Year for the Culture of Peace, has designated the Organization as the lead agency for the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World (2001-2010). UNESCO is now working towards expanding the system of national committees and national focal points established during the International Year, whereas, the Manifesto 2000 continues to be disseminated in each country. UNESCO is making all-out efforts to strengthen education for a culture of peace and non-violence, formal and non-formal, at all levels, during the Decade, especially by supporting the enthusiastic initiatives undertaken by its Associated Schools Project network (ASPnet).

Programmes and Activities by UNESCO's ASPnet

Grammar School Rawalpindi (GSR)

UNESCO's Associated Schools Project network (ASPnet) participated actively, not only in the launch of the International Year for the Culture of Peace (September 14, 1999), but also continued to promote and translate the concept of peace into action. Grammar School Rawalpindi (GSR), a member of the ASPnet, has successfully carried out a number of workshops, competitions and awareness-raising campaigns to promote the Culture of Peace. With support from UNESCO Islamabad Office, the GSR has brought out Lesson Modules for a Culture of Peace, the main themes of which are tolerance, peace and understanding. Also, an 'activity festival for a Culture of Peace', organized by this school was attended by 45 schools of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, and participated by 1150 students. The objective was to orientate and motivate heads/teachers and students of these schools to HRE/Values education. The theme of the festival was, "Let's become Humane and Responsible Citizens of Pakistan and the World". GSR is now liaising with these 45 schools to get a full-fledged programme on HRE/Values Education off the ground.

Grammar School Rawalpindi (GSR) participated in a Human Rights Education Program (HREP) campaign entitled "A Piece for Peace". HREP provided posters highlighting the aim of their campaign. Signatures of students were collected on the reverse side of the posters, and these were later sent to HREP Karachi. The HREP acknowledged and appreciated the cooperation of the students of GSR.

As part of their peace campaign, the HREP invited schools to participate in a poetry competition. Its aim was to raise awareness among children about the importance of peace, non-violence and peaceful conflict resolution. GSR students gave a very positive response and a large number of entries were submitted.

Marium Peer, a student of GSR was one of the three students selected to represent Pakistan at Hiroshima Day in Japan to commemorate the detonation of nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, August 1945.

Roots Montessori and High School:

Past-Present and Visioning into the Future - February 20, 2001

To mark the commencement of the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World, Roots Montessori and High School, Rawalpindi-Islamabad organized an exhibition on different eras of civilizations and cultures of Pakistan. The exhibition, based on the theme, "Past-Present and Visioning into the Future", was in keeping with United Nations Year for Dialogue among Civilizations, and depicted eras of the Stone Age, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman Civilizations, the Dark Ages, Indians, Chinese, Arabs, Renaissance and Visioning into the Future. Children, who acted as guides and narrators, also explained the processes and inventions by the great Muslim scientists with great pride.

The event was attended by members of UN agencies in Pakistan, and other distinguished guests, invited from all over the country. Each national participant was given a badge in recognition of their contribution, with the message engraved "let's spread peace all around".

The occasion was unique in that it brought together a wide galaxy of decision-makers, international peacemakers and children from all over Pakistan, under one forum for the cause of "peace".

Peace is in our Hands

Students and teachers of Roots Montessori and High School dedicated the 'Open Day' of the School to the Culture of Peace. "Peace is in our hands", was the theme of a set of well-conceived performances staged by the students. The brilliant performances not only portrayed the younger generation's perspective on promoting the global culture of peace and harmony, but also exhibited their desire for a world free of violence and war. Thought provoking speeches by students were followed by features depicting various cultures and traditions. The beauty in diversity was brought out by presenting a variety of creatures living under the sea - all of them portraying a picture of peaceful co-existence.

To celebrate the new millennium as the "Millennium of Peace", Roots launched a variety of new educational approaches this year, which were based on a desire to increase understanding and respect and eliminate ignorance, bias and misunderstanding within and between cultures. Students of Roots School participated in the 'Global Visions Project' and shared their visions, dreams, ideas and wishes with youth of 12 countries of the world.

Another remarkable initiative by Roots School was to document an important activity on the understanding of various cultures of the world to promote cultural diversity. This publication was a joint effort of both teachers and students of the school, to mark the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for Children of the World. The book was published with support from UNESCO Islamabad.

Malik Maula Bakhsh Memorial Trust (MMBMT)

MMBMT organized speech and tableaux competitions on the International Literacy Day (September 8, 2000), in each of its Community Learning Centres in Mianwali. The theme of the contest was "A Culture of Peace". Students of these centres interpreted and depicted the theme in the context of their local environment, issues and problems. These events provided "food for thought" and created awareness amongst the local communities at the grassroots level.

The central event, however, took place on September 30, 2000, wherein contests between the winning teams were held. *

Marching Towards Light

As part of celebrations of the International Year for the Culture of Peace, the UN System in Pakistan launched a bilingual publication of essays, which brings together individual visions of peace, by distinguished personalities and common citizens of Pakistan alike. The book titled, "Peace - Marching Towards Light", also contains paintings based on the theme of peace, contributed by the Central Institute of Arts and Crafts in Karachi and drawings from school children. Supported by all UN agencies as a collective endeavour of the UN System, with significant contribution from UNESCO Islamabad, the publication was launched at a press briefing, on September 29, 2000, organized by United Nations Information Centre (UNIC).

Forest for Peace

An outdoor art exhibition entitled, "Forest for Peace" was organized jointly by UNIC and UNESCO Islamabad, on November 25, 2000, as part of celebration of the International Year for the Culture of Peace 2000. About one hundred paintings on the theme "Peace in the New Millennium", were displayed in a wooded area of Islamabad. These paintings were contributed by students from Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Islamabad, a few of which were also featured in the publication "Peace - Marching towards Light".

The aim of this exhibition was to further sensitize people - children and youth in particular - on the need to promote a culture of peace in schools, colleges and homes, by practising tolerance, understanding and respect for others.

Manifesto 2000 for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence

The Manifesto 2000 has become a well-known document and a regular on-going activity, as UNESCO Islamabad Office continues to disseminate it widely. The office facilitates its partners, particularly those who do not have access to the internet, in putting down signatures they collect, on the web site devoted to the International Year for the Culture of Peace.

UNESCO Regional Seminar on Curriculum Development for Peace Education (January 2-5, 2001)

A workshop on Peace Education was organized jointly by UNESCO New Delhi and the National Commission for Sri Lanka (Colombo 2-5 January 2001), to identify concrete strategies conducive to the inculcation of values and development of attitudes and behaviours to be practiced in and out of school to achieve a culture of peace and non-violence.

The participating countries were Bhutan, Nepal, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Pakistan was represented by Mr. Altaf Agral, Joint Educational Advisor, Ministry of Education, Government of Pakistan, and Mrs. Nasreen Iqbal, Director, Grammar School Rawalpindi (GSR) - a member of ASPnet, involved in a relevant and meaningful peace education programme in Pakistan. The country presentation by Mr. Agral and Mrs. Iqbal was greatly appreciated. All the recommendations given for the preparation of a handbook for peace education were considered most relevant and useful because they were based on a hands-on, successfully experimented programme of GSR.

Some of the resolutions adopted by the participants were to:

Reorient teacher education programmes to ensure the professionalization of every teacher and teacher educator as a peace educator.

Design school programmes, co-curricular activities, functions, ceremonies and celebrations to internalize concepts and practices of peace education.

Take measures to eliminate and denounce violence of any form explicit or implicit, within the school and campus premises.

Incorporate peace education in all curricula and in the development of teaching/learning materials, including in multi-media facilities.

Set up teacher and student exchange programmes nationally and internationally for the promotion of peace education.

Establish a Peace education Centre for South Asia, which would coordinate, promote and support researches, surveys, studies and innovations in peace education.

Promote the learning of concepts and practice of responsible and duty conscious citizenship among students.

Promote respect for diversities and pluralities in multi-cultural societies consisting of different linguistic, cultural and religious backgrounds.

Lobby with decision-makers and policy-makers in public and private sectors that environments conducive to peace must be ensured to supplement what is done in schools.

Prepare a handbook comprising guidelines to be followed by every teacher and teacher educator by way of an integrated approach in all subjects taught in schools and teacher education institutions on the basis of proposals made during the seminar.

Develop and execute monitoring and evaluation mechanisms for peace education programmes and inbuild them in the new programmes.

Sustain peace education programmes by the adoption of appropriate strategies in the short, medium and long term.

 ID: 25575 | guest (Read) Updated: 17-03-2005 11:41 am | © 2002 - UNESCO - Contact