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NEWS : Local News  

Workshop on peace education for academin staff ends in Sierra Leone
By Rom E. Tommy
Dec 22, 2005, 14:12

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A two days National Workshop on education for the culture of peace for academic staff has ended in Sierra Leone.

The workshop which started on Monday 19th December,ended on Tuesday 20th December at the Atlantic Hall, National Stadium.

Giving the objectives of the workshop, Professor Memunatu Pratt pointed out that over the years even before the 11 years rebel war, the University of Sierra Leone has been plaqued with quite a number of contraints .

For this reasons, she said the role of academicians in the country cannot be better enhanced without working on practical issues of governance, democratization, human rights and more so building the culture of peace locally and internationally.

The objectives of the workshop she said, are to train academicians and administrators at the university of Sierra Leone and Njala university, on conflict management and mediation techniques to enhance their skills of on how to reduce violence and inculcating non-violent approaches to conflict.

The workshop was also aimed at providing a framework for customizing peace and conflict studies teaching at all levels of the university, and to increase the knowledge of academicians on peace education and conflict management.

Talking on the output of the workshop, she noted that it will enhance strategies on supporting multi disciplinary integrative research, strengthening of participatory teaching and learning on peace and conflict studies. It will also enhance capacity for management of conflict and finally to facilitate links and partnership on adopting positive attitudes on issues affecting peaceful co-existence.

In his keynote address, the Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sierra Leone, Professor Aiah Kpakima, he stated that one of the most sustainable long term strategy for promoting the culture of peace is the non-violent means of dealing with conflict, institutionized in both formal and non formal processes of teaching and learning. These he said include schools, teacher training colleges, tertiary institutions and adult literacy programs. Peace education he said, is seen as a process that promotes knowledge, skills and attitude that will allow people of all ages and at all levels to develop a behaviour change that can prevent the occurrence of conflict, and at the same time resolve conflicts peacefully. There are many reasons why multi disciplinary approach is valued in peace education, that is the sheer variety of conflict, the complexity of the real causes of conflict, and the importance of local knowledge to the resolution of conflict, Professor Kpakima said,

ading that there are other less traceable obstacles to peace education. In conclusion, he said peace education can be a friend to those trying to introduce educational innovation and democratic values in African universities.

Dr. Desmond George Williams also presented a paper on the topic conflict resolution and medication skills strategies and techniques.

On the final day of the workshop, papers were also presented by Professor A. Mansaray on the topic leadership and conflict management. strategies on education for peace.

© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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