Arigatou International Geneva, in collaboration with the Cape Town Holocaust Center and the Western Cape Town Education Department, organized a Basic Training Workshop on how to use the Learning to Live Together (LTLT) Programme.
The workshop took place in Cape Town from 29 June to 1 July 2015 and targeted 22 Life Orientation teachers working directly with children and eight subject advisors, who support the teachers at schools and monitor the implementation of the curriculum. Both groups committed to integrate the Learning to Live Together Programme into the Life Orientation (LO) curriculum in order to implement it systematically in schools.
During the workshop participants discussed and reflected about the issues affecting children in the family, school, community, and as individuals while being introduced to the key concepts, methodologies, learning process and educational approach of the LTLT Programme.
Participants highlighted the lack of safe environments in all contexts as an important element contributing to the cycle of violence in which children live in. They also mentioned the lack of role models, especially in the family, due to the day to day absence of family members or to teen pregnancy, and the constant and normalized violence in the school and community where children carry all kind of weapons and are exposed to drugs, bullying, and child abuse.
Some of the contributors to violence against children highlighted by the participants were the lack of spaces in the community where children can strengthen the sense of belonging and feel supported and protected. Another significant problem discussed was poverty, which affects the majority of the students with whom these teachers work.
Participants reflected on how they could helpaddress these issues. They suggested the importance of being a safe harbor for children, creating safe learning environments where children feel encouraged, protected and where they can develop and strengthen their identity in relation with others. Participants recommended creating engaging and creative opportunities for children to learn, and designing and fostering spaces for silence where children can reflect, nurture their spirituality and discover who they are, where they belong and who they want to be.
Participants learned how to concretely design, implement, monitor and evaluate a LTLT program integrated into the Life Orientation curriculum. The purpose of the implementation is to empower children to find non-violent alternatives, reinforce critical thinking, affirm and develop their identity, self-esteem and self-concept, while strengthening their ability to make ethical decisions, nurture their spirituality and explore ways to be agents of change, creating a culture of peace.
Ms. Daleen Christiians, the Senior Curriculum Planner of the Western Cape Town Education Department, explored with the teachers how to concretely design and implement the Life Orientation curriculum using the Learning to Live Together Programme by comparing the content and approach and how the lessons can be planned and monitored. Ms. Christiians, together with the Curriculum advisors, will follow-up and monitor the implementation of the LO classes using the LTLT Programme throughout the school year. The Arigatou International Geneva office will provide constant technical support throughout the year and will closely follow this process.
The workshop was facilitated by Ms. Marlene Silbert, official trainer on the LTLT Programme, Ms. Saydoon Nisa, facilitator on the Learning to Live Together and GNRC member, and Ms. Vera Leal, Ethics Education Program Officer for Arigatou International Geneva and official trainer on the LTLT Programme.
Our sincere appreciation goes to the Cape Town Holocaust Center and the Western Cape Town Education Department for mobilizing all efforts to organize the workshop.