As part of the two-year-long process of adapting the Learning to Live Together manual to the ages of 7 to 11, a second annual meeting of the expert group took place in Bangkok, Thailand on 18 and 19 October 2019.
The meeting was an opportunity for experts to discuss the findings of the first seven pilot workshops held in Ecuador, El Salvador, India, Kenya, Portugal, Romania, and Tanzania.
Experts on peace education, Interfaith learning, child rights, ethics, education, teacher training, and theologians, explored issues related to ethics, spirituality and interfaith and intercultural learning in middle childhood, based on the findings of the pilots, as well as on the reflections from different disciplines and perspectives.
Previous to conducting the seven pilot workshops, the first meeting of the experts’ group took place in Geneva on 21-22 October 2018, to understand the potential for adaptation of the manual and provide the framework for the adaptation process.
The group of experts includes Mr. Andres Guerrero, Former Partnership Manager, and Education Program Officer, UNICEF – New York; Ms. Mary Kangethe, Director of Education Programmes, Kenya National Commission for UNESCO; Ms.Prabha Karthik, Teacher, Navadisha Montessori School – Chennai; Mr. Mark Manns, Programme Officer, UNESCO Bangkok; Dr. Ilham Nasser, Education Expert; Ms. Mercedes Roman, Sociologist and GNRC Advisor; Mr. Stephen Shashoua, Former Director of the UK based Three Faiths Forum (3FF); Ms.Rohaniza Sumndad-Usman, Founding President and Executive Director, Teach Peace Build Peace Movement; Ven. Napan Thawornbanjob, Assistant Abbot, The Golden Mount Temple – Bangkok; Director, Institute of Buddhist Management for Happiness and Peace; Dr. Angelos Vallianatos, School Advisor for Religious Lessons, Ministry of Education of Greece; Ms. Sujata Bordoloi, Coordinator of UN Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI) – New York; Dr. Hasnah Gasim, ASPnet National Coordinator Indonesian National Commission for UNESCO Ministry of National Education. Ex-Officio members include Ms. Maria Lucia Uribe, Director, Arigatou International – Geneva, and Ms.Vera Leal, Senior Ethics Education Program Officer, Arigatou International – Geneva.
The adaptation of the manual for younger children is being made possible through a grant from Smartpeace Foundation. The first sections of the manual have been developed, including the draft modules and initial activities. During the next few months, the Geneva office will be involved in the finalization of the manual through a participatory process. The manual is expected to be launched in October 2020.
The experts’ group meeting was followed by a two-day regional seminar on social and emotional learning organized by the UNESCO Bangkok office within the framework of their Happy Schools Project.
Arigatou Internationals shared its Ethics Education Framework and pedagogical approach, as well as examples of implementation and engaged in rich discussions with participants from more than 10 countries, who shared their experiences working on projects related to social and emotional learning.