Peace Education in Kenya

(*Reports prepared by graduate students of the American University’s International Peace and Conflict Studies Program.  Please see November 2010 issue of the Global Campaign for Peace Education newsletter for more information: www.peace-ed-campaign.org/newsletter)

Peace Education in Kenya by Alison Drury

It appears that Kenya has increasingly become aware of the benefits and the importance of having peace education programs as a conflict prevention mechanism. Following the post election violence, the ministry of education is seeking to make peace education compulsory and is currently developing curriculum for the classroom. They have met with other nations to develop this idea further. However, the country’s education system is already strained, which could make this new prospect difficult to implement. In addition to the ministry of education, the UNHCR and UNESCO have implemented peace education for refugee populations.  They have targeted many children and adults but they also need to work on getting more funding and being more accessible to females.

1.       UNHCR Peace Education Program (Program for Refugees)

Evaluation summary of the program – by Anna P. Obura
Article on the program: “The UNHCR Peace Education Programme: Skills for Life” – by Pamela Baxter

Context:

The education program takes place in Kakuma and Dabaab refugee camps, which are located in the harsh environment of the north eastern part of Kenya. These areas are neglected in political matters as well as in economic development. The camps include individuals from Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia. This area is conflict prone due to the limited resources that are available in the region, the development of armed banditry, the mass introduction of arms following the Cold War, the civil wars in Somali, and Sudan, political unrest in Ethopia, and the amount of provisions and resources present at refugee camps, which attract looters.

Theory of Change:

If individuals adopt peace promoting behavior through the development of peace related skills, than peace will be further cultivated.

Objectives:

  • Educators strive to promote positive peace through enhancing the quality of life for all individuals (the community and nation) and aiming to prevent conflict.
  • Teaching peace building skills to pre-empt conflict.
  • Strengthen skills acquisition by creating opportunities to gain new understanding, values, and attitudes associated with peace.

Overview of The Schools Program:

  • For school age children in primary school – receive one peace education class per week

Community Workshop Program:

  • For youth out of school and adults
  • Weekly workshop over the span of 10/12 weeks

Awareness program: Use posters and drama to spread awareness

Peace Education Program activities both planned and spontaneous that occur within the community

2.       Kenya’s Ministry of Education wants to make peace education compulsory- this is in response to the post election violence.
a.       Here is a video about what the minister plans to do
3.       Here is a link to the 2006 Report on the state of Peace Education in Kenya page (11-13)