The Peace Education Programme was born out from the Post- Election Violence (PVE) in 2007/8 in Kenya that led to a disruption of learning due to displacement, fear, school closure and lack of teachers. The Ministry of Education, UNICEF and UNHCR came together to develop a programme that would impart knowledge, skills, values and attitudes that would lead to peaceful coexistence among Kenyans. Other partners later came on board, UNESCO, Arigatou International, UNESCO-IICBA, USAID, Nairobi Peace Initiative (NPI) Africa, Save the Children International, IGAD and CSOs among others. It was after these events that the Inter-Country Quality Node on Peace Education (ICQN-PE) was established in 2009.
The ICQN on Peace Education was the first ICQN to be established under the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) and was conceived at a side meeting of African Ministers of Education held at the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) Global Consultation in April 2009 in Istanbul. The ICQN was then formally launched at a workshop held in Mombasa, Kenya from 14th-16th September 2009. The Ministry of Education in Kenya, was nominated to host the ICQN with the Cabinet Secretary as the lead. The major output of the meeting was the signing of the Mombasa 2009 communiqué by the Ministers of Education present.
Since the formation of the ICQN-PE, other countries that share similar challenges of internal conflict and those hosting refugees came on board. At least every year, these countries come together to share experiences, best practices and knowledge on how they are building peace and preventing or resolving conflict through education. Other issues of concern emerging now that call for our attention are: radicalization into violent extremism, hate speech and cyber bullying, drug and substance abuse and gender-based violence.
The ICQN collaborates with Save the Children AU Liaison office that has the mandate of implementing the CESA 16-25 Peace Education Cluster and DEA in bringing countries together for collaborative action. There are forums for both technical officers and high-level forums for the Ministers of Education to share issues of peace and formulate policies that will transform learners in our continent.
Through its programmes and initiatives, the ICQN PE has been able to raise the profile of peace, conflict management and transformation within the education sector through collaboration with governments and partners in education. The ICQN PE has also developed the capacity of policy makers and implementers in peace education through various policy dialogue forums and trainings. Through the research conducted, it has been able to generate information and statistics on peace education that has informed on knowledge gaps and relevant action.
It has also been able to sensitize education stakeholders on peace building, prevention and management of conflict and resolution. Through the various platforms, the ICQN has formed networks that aid in collaboration. It has also added to the ADEA Knowledge Management Hub (KMH), publishing blogs on current issues in peace education and related topics.
The various meetings and conferences have led to publishing of guidelines and policy documents in peace education. The ICQN PE has also participated in forums held by other ICQNs for purposes of bench marking, collaboration and shared insight.
The ICQN-PE envisions education stakeholders equipped with knowledge to identify red flags that are possible pointers to conflict and prevention. In areas, where conflict has already taken place, education stakeholders will have acquired the capacity to resolve it amicably. The ICQN PE looks to the establishment of networks with partners who will help in not only financing, but also in providing technical support in peace education implementation. These include Ministers of Education, Teachers, school managers and administrators, support staff, partners in Education e.g. UN bodies, line Ministries, Civil Society Organizations, Education in Emergencies, Faith Based Organizations, Publishers etc. As a result, policy makers capacity are enhanced and are able to publish policy documents that will allow the implementers the legal mandate to conduct and implement peace education in the learning institutions.
The ICQN PE also envisions learners in PE member countries equipped with knowledge, skills, values and attitudes required by citizens to lead productive lives; make informed decisions; and assume active roles locally and globally in facing and resolving global challenges. This will be acquired through education for sustainable development, value-based education and global citizenship education (GCED), which includes peace and human rights education, as well as intercultural education and education for international understanding. This is in line with the SDG 4 goal target 7 and Agenda 2063: The Africa we Want.
To be the platform that Education and training institutions uses to promote peace by creating safe spaces for learners in order to achieve the Africa Agenda 2063: “A peaceful, integrated and prosperous Africa. “ To be the platform through which we achieve the Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA 16-25) pillar on: A peaceful and secure environment by informing and facilitating the transformation of education and training systems in Africa through Peace Education.
We will achieve this by:
- Initiating platforms that bring together P.E member states to promote dialogue, knowledge and experience sharing, and formulate common work plans for problem solving through collaborative action.
- Create a forum for information sharing on innovative educational experiences in PE member countries for implementation of the lessons drawn from such experiences to improve countries’ own educational policies and practices.
- Forge partnerships with strategic partners to improve on our education policies.
- Keep consistent communication through social platforms by initiating interactive discussions on peace and sharing of activities being carried out in members countries by regional PE focal points.
- Providing feedback to ADEA on progress made, challenges and request for any interventions and support required for emerging issues.
- Bringing together countries facing conflict related challenges for collaborative action, knowledge sharing and sharing of best practices.
- Utilize education systems as agencies to develop policies that will respond to country needs in conflict prevention, peace-building and nation building.
Key achievements of the ICQN- Peace Education in the Region:
- Roundtable on "Education, Peace and Development" held in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo in July 2011 as an opportunity for knowledge exchange among ICQN and relevant non-ICQN countries
- Four major studies conducted by the ADEA Secretariat on behalf of the ICQN-PE on education reconstruction in DRC, Kenya, Liberia and Zimbabwe over 2010-2011. National policy forums were held as follow-up to the studies with the first taking place in Kenya in July 2012. A study on peace education in Kenyan universities was also been carried out.
- Exhibition on the ICQN in the Innovation and Knowledge Fair during the ADEA Triennale in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in February 2012.
- Organized an International Forum on Peace Education in 2012 bringing together 12 African Countries at the Great Rift Valley Lodge which culminated in the signing of Naivasha Communiqué where Ministers present retaliated their commitment to promote peace through education.
- Organized a Peace Education Dialogue Forum in 2013 bringing together 15 African countries at Lukenya Get- Away in Kenya where technical officers from the ministries of education developed Country Action Plans for promoting peace through education.
- Coordinated Theme 4 of the ADEA 2017 Triennale on “Promoting Peace and Global Citizenship through education”. The ICQNPE presented the synthesis paper duringthe Triennale.
- Implemented a USAID supported programme (under the auspices of ADEA Secretariat) on Prevention and Management of Emerging forms of Violence in learning institutions in Kenya, Liberia, Cote D’Ivoire and Uganda-2017/18.
- Development of Peace Education materials such as the Peace Education Teacher Training manuals, Learner Activity Books Class 1-8, the Story Book and self- help booklets for learners.
- Under the Auspice of ADEA Secretariat and USAID, the ICQN PE trained head teachers, teachers and peer educators; andsensitized BOM, PTA, and support staff on Prevention and Management of Emerging forms of Violence (PMVE) in 7 counties in Kenya in 2017/18.
- Kenya was sent by ADEA tooffer support to Liberia in the training of their Head teachers, teachers and peer educators and sensitization of BOM and PTA on the same PMVE Programme in 2017/18.
- Implemented a UNESCO IICBA (International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa) supported programme on Teacher Training and Development for Peace-Building in the Horn of Africa together with 5 other Countries (Eritrea, Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Sudan). The programme targeted youth in secondary schools, teacher training colleges and members of university faculties.
- ICQN-PE Participated in a study conducted by Save the Children and ADEA on the Prevention of Education from Military Attacks in 2019 in Addis-Ababa.
- Save the Children AU liaison office in collaboration with ADEA and Ministry of Education in Kenya, brought together peace education focal points from about 11 countries and other PE practitioners from UNESCO, UNICEF, KNATCOM, EFASON, ANCEFA and other CSOs for a conference on Capacity Building of Peace Education focal points on CESA 16-25 PE Cluster Implementation in Feb 22th-27th 2020 in Nairobi,Kenya.
- ICQN-PE together with ICQN Teaching and Learning areurrently conducting a study on the Integration of Peace Education in Teaching and Learning in 10 selected countries in Africa with ADEA and Master Card Foundation 2020/21.
ICQN PE together with ICQN Teaching and Learning are currently conducting a study on the Integration of Peace Education in Teaching and Learning in 10 selected countries in Africa with ADEA and Mastercard Foundation-2020/21.
Ministry of Education, Kenya
Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA), Kenya