BIS #7058 Ushering a Culture of Peace

By Fr Jerome Edison for BISMumbai

On 13 September 2023, Don Bosco High School, Makarpura, held a training for their teachers on the culture of peace. The training was conducted by Fr Peter Gonsalves. 85 teachers from the various Don Bosco schools in the Gujarat region attended this programme.

Fr Gonsalves expressed that peace education training aimed to equip teachers with the knowledge and skills necessary to promote peace, tolerance, and conflict resolution in the classroom; to foster a deeper understanding of the importance of peace education in creating a harmonious society; and lastly, to provide practical strategies and resources for integrating peace education into the curriculum. The training began with an in-depth exploration of the concept of peace education in religions, cultures, and society. He explained the concept of peace as expounded by Johan Galtung, who is known as the Father of Peace Studies. 

Fr Gonsalves discussed the significance of teaching peace as a way to promote harmony, resolve conflicts, and build a just and equitable society. A major portion of the training was dedicated to imparting effective conflict resolution skills. Fr Gonsalves elaborated with role-playing exercises and case studies on the method of managing conflicts among students and encouraging peaceful dialogues. To promote peace, it is essential to embrace diversity and promote inclusivity against discrimination. The training emphasised understanding how teachers can create inclusive classrooms that celebrate diversity.

Fr Gonsalves provided practical guidance on integrating peace education for different grade levels, not as a subject but as a life story. This included creating activities that teach empathy, cooperation, and respect for human rights. The teachers learned techniques for fostering open and empathetic communication among students, which can prevent misunderstandings and conflicts. Peace education increased a deeper understanding of the importance of peace culture and its role in creating a more peaceful and just society. The teachers left the training with practical conflict resolution skills and strategies for promoting peace in their classrooms.

One of the participants, Mr Prakash Pateliya, remarked, “Today, peace education is a crucial component for building a responsible citizenry through students. As peace educators and promoters, this training will play a pivotal role in shaping the values, attitudes, and behaviours of teachers and students holistically.”