corpunWorld Corporal Punishment Research   :  Archive   :  1998   :  UG Schools Sep 1998



School CP - October 1998

The Monitor, Kampala, 24 September 1998

Schools to teach 'Peace' studies

By Mucunguzi Julius

A local NGO -- Always Be Tolerant (ABETO) -- has large plans for peace and tolerance studies in primary and secondary schools, the chairman, Moses Musana, has said.

"ABETO has programmed to start teaching aspects of peace and tolerance directly to the youth with the approval of the ministry of Education and the Germany Technical Cooperation (GTZ) assistance," Musana said.

Musana was speaking at a two-day conference on: Peace and Civic Education - A Collective Responsibility at the Nile Hotel, Sept. 23.

"The current education system does not cover the moral aspects ... so we want an education system which is complete with total promotion of cultural and public morals ... a peaceful society which is tolerant and all embracing," he said.

Musana said promotion of tolerance is an urgent task.

"Any more delay spells doom for our country ...".

The head of Makerere University's department of Women and Gender Studies, Associate Prof. Rosemarie M. McNairn said Peace education can only work after building a team of "ethical frameworks".

"These ethical frameworks need to be established from the top-down ... children learn best by example ... when adults operate under the ethical framework of social justice, peaceful conflict resolution, with virtues of compassion, understanding and humility, the lessons of peace will be learned," she said.

McNairn noted that the evils of armed conflict are mirrored in schools.

"And some of the schools operate on undemocratic principles and their headteachers are dictators," she said.

"Students are often tried, convicted and punished without even a fair hearing, decisions are arbitrary and corporal punishment is still extensively used in Uganda. Thus it is shown that violence as a strategy is preferable to reason, dialogue and guidance." Political Science lecturer, Prof. Akiiki B. Mujaju claimed government is frustrating civil society's efforts for peace. He cited the recent cease-fire motion tabled by MP Aggrey Awori, which was thrown out.

"Recently, we had a very novel experience ... a motion was tabled in Parliament that government should negotiate with those opposing it... but it was thrown out ... all of a sudden, the state absolved itself from the peace process. This was very outrageous," the don said.

Germany Embassy's Herbert Beck said his government will support ABETO in promoting the teaching of culture and tolerance in schools.

Copyright 1998 The Monitor Publications Ltd and Worldwide EP Inc.

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