Education plays an important role in developing and enhancing human resource skills for socio-economic and political development. Indeed, many governments are spending and investing in education so as to develop their human resource base. However, the role of education goes beyond socio-economic and political development as it is expected to play a key role in addressing the challenges that the world is facing today including addressing violent conflicts. Within this context, peace education and the Global Citizenship Education (GCED) emphasizes the need and the urgency to develop global citizens who are of high morals and integrity, have the requisite knowledge, skills, values and attitudes necessary to create a more just, peaceful, inclusive, secure and sustainable societies. Education policies, planning and programming should also adopt a conflict-sensitive approach to enhance the capacity of the sector to promote peace. It is envisaged that GCED will enhance and nurture a deeper and better approach in human development and therefore guarantee prosperity and high quality of life for all in a secure and clean environment.
In order to develop holistic individuals, education needs to go beyond acquisition of knowledge and cognitive skills development to inculcating values, soft skills, and attitudes that facilitate and promote structural transformation and international co-operation. This spirit is captured by the Africa Agenda 2063, and Continental Education Strategy for Africa (CESA) 2016 to 2025 which are the instruments that drives the education agenda for Africa. This is also in line with the global trends as stipulated by Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Education Agenda 2030.
Africa has diverse cultures, multiple ethnic groups, different religions and languages. It is therefore imperative that its 1.2 billion people appreciate and live the fullness of this diversity. The Africa Agenda 2063 envisions “An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena’ under the slogan – The Africa we want.” One of the seven aspirations for the ‘Africa we want’ is to have a peaceful and secure continent, with harmony among communities starting from grassroots level. Effective management of this diversity will lead to peaceful coexistence amongst communities and social-economic transformation. In order to achieve this, a culture of peace and tolerance must be nurtured among Africans including children and youth. LTLT is the panacea to instill and inculcate respect for other people, their history, traditions and values, as well as promoting a culture of peace and understanding. It is envisaged that by 2063, Africa will have entrenched and nourished a culture of human rights, democracy, gender equality, inclusion, peace, prosperity, security and safety for all citizens.
The Strategic Objective 10, of the Continental Education Strategy for Africa 2016-2025 emphasizes promotion of peace education, conflict prevention and resolution at all levels of education and for all age groups. The Competence based curriculum in Kenya is value laden. It adopts a value based approach.
The curriculum is used as a channel through which values based education / ethics education can be enhanced for sustainable peace in the world. The curriculum adopts a multi-dimensional approach in values. In order to prepare the future generations to be creative and responsible global citizens and to foster global citizenship, teaching and learning activities in formal and non–formal education settings must be facilitated. KICD has developed a Values and Citizenship mainstreaming matrices. This I believe will have a great impact on learners at all levels of education.
Curriculum should take advantage of the fact that learners spend most of their formative years in school, which presents opportunities for the curriculum to mould and reinforce values upon which the learner’s character is formed. The emerging trend in terms of curriculum is to adopt a value-based approach to education that will create learning opportunities within the formal, non-formal and informal curriculum dimensions to inculcate the desired values in all learners. For example, the ongoing curriculum reform in Kenya recognizes that global citizenship are is important to the socio-economic development and stability of the country, in the same way that competencies in academics are important. Indeed, citizenship forms one of the seven core competencies that the curriculum is based on while values form one of the four pillars in the envisaged curriculum.
The Competency Based Curriculum also calls for a shift from content based textbooks to workbooks where learners are in charge of their own learning materials for values nurturing should begin at an early stage while children are still acquiring literacy skills and preferably in mother tongue. This may include true or fictional stories that may stay in the child’s mind and influence that behavior. In the creation of each story, each image, each piece of information, each exercise, is the potential for transferring values, attitudes and actions related to global citizenship (Sinclair M. edited 2013).