Inter-Country Quality Node on Peace Education (ICQN-PE)

Background

Recent years have seen many regions of Africa involved in war and internal or external conflict. In addition to many conflict related deaths, there have been over nine million refugees and even more significant numbers of internally displace people in need of shelter and support. Social collapse, political instability and endemic poverty are often contributors to, as well as consequences of, conflict and fragility.

There is thus an urgent need on the African continent to provide support and care to vulnerable, displaced and marginalized peoples and to contribute to healing and transformation through ending cycles of violence and revenge. Education can and should play a role in this much needed process.

What is the ICQN Peace Education?

The ICQN Peace Education was formed as a result of a Ministerial Conference hosted by ADEA in June 2004 for post conflict or fragile states. At the end of the conference, a final communiqué was signed by the twenty African countries involved in the deliberations. Specifically, the communiqué committed Ministers of Education to "utilize their respective education systems as agencies and forces for peace-building, conflict prevention, conflict resolution and nation building".

To support this vision for the role of education in building, keeping and promoting peace, ADEA formed an Inter-Country Quality Node (ICQN) which would have as its core focus, Peace Education. The formation and raison d'etre of this Quality Node was reaffirmed by a second meeting organised for African Ministers of Education by ADEA in Istanbul in April 2009, on the occasion of the Global Consultation of the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE).

In September 2009, the first meeting of the ICQN Peace Education was organized and funded by the Association for Development of Education in Africa in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Kenya. The theme for this workshop was "Education as an agency for Fostering Peace; Integration and Partnerships".

Since then, the ICQN Peace Education has strengthened its coordination and developed a strategic plan which falls within the broader strategy of ADEA.

The Vision of the ICQN Peace Education

Informed by the Mombasa Communique, the vision of the ICQN Peace Education is for education systems to act as central agencies for the cultivation of the values, attitudes, knowledge and skills for sustainable peace and development in Africa.

The Mission of the ICQN Peace Education

To act as a catalyst of intra country dialogue and partnership by enabling countries to dialogue, articulating policies and strategies for the implementation of peace education within and through education systems by means of needs based, innovative, responsive and strategic partnerships with stakeholders, thereby enhancing the delivery of quality education in Africa.

The objectives of the ICQN Peace Education 

The ICQN Peace Education, through its programme focused on intra African exchange and dialogue, seeks to:

  • Advocate for the building of peace for sustainable development through the education sector. 
  • Enable formulation, strengthening and implementation of Peace Education Policies and Strategies.
  • Ensure implementation, monitoring and evaluation of peace education programmes.
  • Build capacities for peace education at all levels.
  • Foster strategic inter-disciplinary, inter-regional and multi-sectoral partnerships and collaboration with various stakeholders.
  • Inform policy development and strategic interventions based on knowledge generation and development through effective research.
  • Promote peace education through an effective communication and dissemination strategy.

What does the ICQN Peace Education do?

Recent years have seen many regions of Africa involved in war and internal or external conflict. In addition to many conflict related deaths, there have been over nine million refugees and even more significant numbers of internally displace people in need of shelter and support. Social collapse, political instability and endemic poverty are often contributors to, as well as consequences of, conflict and fragility.

There is thus, an urgent need on the African continent, to provide support and care to vulnerable, displaced and marginalised peoples and to contribute to healing and transformation through ending cycles of violence and revenge. Education can and should play a role in this much needed process.

The implementation of education programmes for peace in an African context, particularly where countries have been affected by conflict and war, could be of great benefit to development and stability; it can also act as a preventive measure in countries against the eventualities of conflict, war and political upheaval.

Peace education is more than a means to response to conflict and violence but also a proactive measure to building and keeping peace. Recognising the transformational power of education, to impact on these issues as well as to prevent them every taking place in society, ADEA with its partners seeks through the establishment of the ICQN Peace Education; to play a pivotal role in the promotion of policy dialogue, policy development and effective practices that enable more peaceful societies.

It is anticipated that the Inter-Country Quality Node on Peace Education will play a role in leading Peace Education dialogue and initiatives on the African continent. It is thus essential that a holistic vision, together with a feasible programme of intervention focusing not just on curriculum but also on education policy and governance as it relates to Peace Education be developed. 

In order to move toward achieving its broader objectives, the ICQN will undertake the following activities:

  1. Policy dialogue activities attended by ministers of education from conflict and crisis affected countries and other relevant partners and stakeholders, 
  2. Research, analysis, documentation and dissemination of publications and resources focused on deeper understanding of, knowledge creation and the promotion of promising practices for peace building in and through education, 
  3. Capacity building initiatives using publications and resources developed as tools to promote the ideas and the development of skills for the effective implementation of peace education policies and practices, 
  4. Facilitation of intra-African exchanges of expertise on peace in education in order to build a network of education actors having expertise in peace education from conflict affected countries in Africa including ministers of education, 
  5. Consult widely and draw civil society actors into the policy dialogue processes, capacity development initiatives and the intra-African nietwork in order to ensure that gaps between policy and on the ground experience are addressed.

The ICQN Peace Education recognises Peace Education as a proactive and preventative measure to conflict and violence in society. It is a means to transforming society and to ensuring the building peaceful societies which have a far greater prospect of remaining so.

While the ICQN Peace Education will focus where the need is greatest i.e. on conflict affected and fragile states, it has a broader view to draw in other countries on the continent recognising that the promotion of peace and development is also as a means to prevent conflict and crisis. 

How to contact the ICQN-PE

Leadership 

Ministry of Education, Science and Technology 
P.O. Box 30040-00100
Nairobi - Kenya
Tel: +254 20 22 10163 / 22 400 89 
Fax: + 254 20 2210163/ 2100 63
Email: minister@education.go.ke

Ministry Focal Point

Ms. Mary KANGETHE 
Senior Education Officer 
Ministry of Education, Science and Technology 
P.O. Box 30040-00100
Nairobi, Kenya 
Tel: +254 72 470 40 16 
Fax: +254 224 060 11 
Email: kangethe1234@gmail.com