BIS #7044 Peace Education Seminar at DB Borivli

By Ms Joelinda D’Silva for BISMumbai

Don Bosco, Borivali, Mumbai, held an enlightening seminar on Peace Education specifically tailored for educators affiliated with various Don Bosco schools in Mumbai on 26 August 2023. The seminar drew a diverse group of 65 enthusiastic teachers from the Salesian schools in the city.

The central goal of this insightful session by Father Peter Gonsalves was to highlight the pressing need for peace in a society grappling with polarisation, divisive tendencies, and discrimination. Moreover, it aimed to equip educators with Father Gonsalves' 'Exercises in Peace Education,' providing them with the essential tools to cultivate a culture of peace within their classrooms.

Father Gonsalves kicked off the morning sessions by distributing pre-test and post-test survey forms, setting the stage for a comprehensive exploration of peace education. He then embarked on an exploration of humanity, followed by a deep dive into the various dimensions of peace, encompassing personal, socio-political, and ecological aspects. He briefly delved into the life and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and touched upon the concept of peace in religious contexts. In addition, he elucidated Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs, underscoring how unmet basic needs can fuel conflicts and violence.

In the subsequent session, Father Gonsalves elaborated on a myriad of peace education initiatives and underscored the paramount importance of experiential learning as the primary method for instilling values, attitudes, perceptions, skills, and behavioural changes. A lively discussion ensued, centred on the critical topic of bullying, followed by an introduction to Johan Galtung's perspective on peace. 

The day culminated with teachers from the participating institutions convening separately to strategize the implementation of Father Gonsalves' proposed lines of action and harness the 'Exercises for Peace Education' manual effectively. Father Flovi D’Souza, the Principal, expressed his gratitude to Father Peter Gonsalves for his invaluable time and insightful session. 

In a world marred by global violence, including incidents within India leading to the tragic loss of lives, there exists an underlying sense of sorrow. Education, as a cornerstone of societal development, plays an instrumental role in shaping the young minds that represent our future. Father Gonsalves' teachings undoubtedly serve as a beacon of inspiration, empowering teachers to sow the seeds of harmony in the hearts and minds of their students.