ADDIS ABABA (HAN) July 4.2016. Public Diplomacy & Regional Security News. It is easy to understand that Education is a fundamental human right that every child in the world should not be deprived of. It is a means to secure equity and equality. Human beings are created with a special ability to acquire knowledge and skills. All human beings are born equal and if exposed to the same opportunity they can compete regardless of personal performance differences at all levels.
Due to internal and external factors, some children are more privileged for education than others. Better education accessibility, family background, IQ and different situations are factors that contribute to the effective acquisition of knowledge. Whatever the case may be, proper education is a means to personal development at an individual level and the single most contributor of national development as well as a milestone to securing peace and development in the country.
Education has a power to shape the behaviour of an individual at a personal level. Broadly speaking education is the most significant tool and key to solving personal, national and international problems of the globe. It is especially significant in building peacefulness.
Regardless of the above noble fact, many children across the world are still denied access to quality education. But education is a fundamental human right that should not be deprived for anyone in the world. Many children and women in many countries in Africa were unable to get education due to the prevailing war, crisis and instability in the continent for centuries. Such problems are still recurrent in some parts of Africa.
If we take a look at recent reports from the Ministry of Education (MoE), some 230 million people around the globe and half of the school-age children are still unable to properly get access to proper education as they live in countries that are affected with war, crisis and instabilities.
Education should be a birth right that should be given prime attention by all countries of the world as it is a means to address poverty and to ensure peace and sustainable development. It also plays significant role in securing the rights of citizens by ensuring equity, equity and justice.
The government of Ethiopia has a clear pro-poor growth strategy focused on guaranteeing full access to basic social services and infrastructures.
MoE has identified peace building, equity, equality, quality, early childhood care and education (ECCE) as well as improved learning outcomes as key components of its current Education Sector Development Plan (ESDP-V), MoE reports.
It has been reported by the ministry that over 27 million Ethiopian children are now attending education across the country in more than 37,000 schools.
According to UNICEF, on the other hand, more than 327 million children in Sub-Saharan Africa live in fragile contexts with the majority of the estimated 29 million primary school-aged children out of school due to risks of conflict.
Ensuring equitable access to education is key in addressing the root causes of conflict and instability in the world and particularly in Africa. Education is a powerful contributor towards building peace through creating a crucial link between humanitarian and long-term developments to developing the right conditions for social cohesion and community resilience.
Member states of the African Union are now turning their attention to inclusive, equitable and innovative education, advocacy, peace-building, policies and programmes in a bid to advancing sustainable peace and development across the continent.
Education can catalyse social and political transformations to support peace in Africa and will give a go ahead to achieving Sustainable Development Goals. And access to quality education can minimize inequalities or grievances among conflict-affected communities. It as well can strengthen skills, attitudes and values that support peace.
Human capital, creating a friendly environment for the African people, policies, issues of equity and equality in education, and more importantly promoting education for peace through avoiding conflicts in the continent are the areas that member states of the continent should give due consideration.
This will be possible through investing a huge capital on youths. Making education the central issue and giving priority to peace education in all schools are tasks that need to be re-considered.
In a two-day long conference co-organized by the Federal Government of Ethiopia and the University of Bradford here in Addis Ababa from 23rd – 24th June 2016 under the theme “Global Education for Peace in Africa” Deputy Premier of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Demeke Mekonnen stressed over the last weekend that the issue of peace and education are pressing issues for the over all development of Africa. According to him, Ethiopia is working towards peace building at regional and international levels beyond the national endeavours on the area.
Global Education for Peace is not only relevant but timely because peace is the most important value and pressing issue in Africa and without it development, security, economic growth and socio-political progresses as well as democratic consolidations are simply unthinkable at all, he noted.
It is clearly said during the conference that Africa should work towards institutionalizing peace through education by integrating peace in education systems to secure sustainable development and prosperity.
Peace and education are the most powerful tools that should be wisely used across Africa to secure development and make a prosperous continent.
Education for Peace (EFP) creates a fertile ground for peace by assisting individuals, families, schools, communities and groups to prevent conflict strengthen inter-group cooperation and apply the principles of unity-in-diversity, equality and justice.
To sum up the point, education is a silent weapon to silence all the guns in the world and secure sustainable development. Hence, counties across the world should use this maximum potential and tool to build a peaceful world in general and a peaceful Africa in particular through curbing equity, equality, accessibility and good governance on the sector. And Ethiopia is right on that track to achieve the best out of it.