As Nigeria joined the rest of the world to celebrate the year 2024 International Day of Education with a central theme of “learning for lasting peace”, a former Commissioner for Education in Abia State, Chief Richard Harrison, has said that the need for peace education in Nigeria is greater than ever before, as it is crucial for the nation’s survival.
Interacting with our correspondent through WhatsApp, Chief Harrison who pointed out that the overall aim of Education for Peace is to help build a peaceful world, harped on the need to inculcate leadership qualities among students for promoting peace in society.
He pointed out that children learn peace culture through discipline, avoiding aggressive tendencies and developing team spirit through academic activities in schools and also reminded the critical stakeholders in the education sector that the Human Rights conventions declared that Education must prepare a child for responsible life and effective participation in a free society in a spirit of understanding, peace, tolerance, equality of sexes and friendships among all peoples, ethnic, national and religious groups and persons of indigenous origin.
Chief Richard Harrison.
Chief Harrison who observed that peace education is the process of acquiring values, knowledge, attitudes, skills, and behaviours to live in harmony with oneself, others, and the natural environment, called on the government to ensure an active commitment towards peace and harmony, as peace demands a landscape where students would be equipped with proper education and well-rounded leadership qualities.
The former Commissioner for Education who further maintained that education is an instrument of peace-building and societal development, called on both the government, teachers and lectures to help create in the classrooms, democratic leadership, order, gender equality and healthy interactions,
Chief Harrison who also lauded the efforts of the Nigerian classroom teachers, tutors, lectures and the National Youth Service Corps on their efforts to build a strong bond among the Nigerian students and youths, which led to the development of skills such as empathy, critical thinking, resilience, adaptability, and collaboration, moreover asserted that effective communication remains crucial for fostering understanding and resolving conflicts peacefully.
The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 24 January as International Day of Education, in celebration of the role of education for peace and development.