All week, we will be celebrating #InternationalDayofEducation. This year’s theme, ‘learning for lasting peace,’ resonates deeply with Kenneth, our School Improvement Officer in Bukedea Zone, Eastern Uganda.
In this blog, Kenneth shares why he is proud to work in the education sector and highlights how PEAS’ partnership with the Ministry of Education is fostering a safe and harmonious environment, that encourages students and staff to extend these positive practices to their communities.
Why are you proud to work in the education sector?
I have worked in the education sector for over 14 years, and this has made me proud because education is a profession where I have created visible impact around the communities and districts that I serve. I have grown with my students and as they learn, I also learn. I believe that there aren’t many professions out there that allow such unique growth out of interaction with young people.
I am proud to be part of many children’s success stories. After 14 years, over 400 students have contacted me to share their success after secondary education and to let me know what they are up to. I strongly believe that young people will ultimately be the ones deciding the future of our nation.
How does a PEAS education promote learning for lasting peace ?
PEAS education promotes “Equity and Empathy” which is vital for co-existence in a community. PEAS hires well-trained teachers who foster positive and impactful practices amongst the students, who later carry on to their families and communities. Notably, PEAS encourages girls’ education, which has proven to significantly impact a woman’s future within the school’s community and the future of their family.
Education has been touted as one of the most powerful tools we can implement in our global efforts to promote world peace, and has contributed to confidence and hope building, independent thinking, problem solving skills, poverty reduction, increased political involvement, empathy and tolerance building, and the cultivation of respect.
How does PEAS work with the government promote learning for lasting peace?
Peace is on the curriculum in Ugandan schools, thanks to a new set of educational resources provided by education partners in conjunction with the Government of Uganda under PEAS Inspect & Improve Programme, and other engagements. Ever-lasting peace is about addressing the root causes of conflict and past grievances, facilitating the non-violent transformation of conflicts towards just systems and peace communities.
At PEAS, we work with the government to ensure that the school environment is safe for the students and staff. PEAS has directly worked with Probation Officers at district level to create awareness and educate everyone in school about their responsibilities.
The relationship between the school and community is essential because the two cannot live in isolation. In partnership with Uganda’s Directorate of Educations standards, PEAS implements inspections, and the component of community relation is highlighted in the inspection tool. We carry out interviews to ascertain the levels of community relations and involvement. Regardless of the outcome, we coach and advocate for a positive co-existence to maintain and develop a relationship that creates peace between the school and community.
Peace is a vital ingredient for any meaningful development, and this can only be achieved through a well-balanced education. I am glad that PEAS and the Government of Uganda are working together to create a safe and friendly environment for all learners and staff who in return cascade the good practices to their communities.