Nigeria: towards the launch of a peace education program
Last July, UNESCO published a pedagogical guide to help teachers better deliver educational programs on the violent past of their community or country. According to the organization, teaching these stories well can help build lasting peace.
Nigeria has begun the process of introducing a peace education program in schools. This program "aims to analyze the rich, diverse and complex history of the country and provide students with the knowledge and values necessary to prevent atrocities and live together in peace", according to the country's authorities.
In this process, Nigeria is receiving support from UNESCO. Education authorities have been holding preparatory meetings with the UN organization for months. According to a UNESCO press release published on Wednesday November 15, the most recent meeting took place on October 26 and 27. This enabled the stakeholders to agree on an action plan setting out the next stages in the development, implementation and dissemination of the curriculum.
The implementation of this program is taking shape at a time when UNESCO has stepped up communication on the need for States to integrate the teaching of their violent past into education in order to build lasting peace. In this context, the organization collaborated on the publication, last July, of a pedagogical guide presenting background information and practical advice on appropriate approaches to facilitate learning and constructive discussion on the issue of teaching about criminal atrocities in Africa.
In implementing this program, Nigeria will draw on the experience of the Holocaust, while adapting the content to national realities. The country, Africa's leading economic power, hopes in turn to share its experience with other states on the continent.