“peace education as part of school curriculum can change the environment within which a person lives and the whole world through schools…”. This was said by Nancy Roussopoulos, a retired School Principal in South Africa and Special Needs Educator, currently the Coordinator Peace Education for Southern African Branch of Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light(HWPL). Speaking to participants in the virtual peace education workshop for Lesotho teachers and adolescent coaches, Nancy said that schools are a seed bed towards better development of a human being. In her unusual ideological progressive thinking, she argued that there is no need for principals and teachers to create another lesson or period specifically on peace education, rather peace education can be taught everywhere and at any time.
This workshop organised by Development for Peace Education was attended teachers from the 24 schools in the eight areas of DPE operation and another three schools outside of these areas, which are Morapeli, John Maund and Amohelang high schools. Other participants were representatives of teachers’ trade unions including Lesotho Teachers Trade Union, Lesotho Association of Teachers, Lesotho School Principals Association and Progressive Association of Lesotho Teachers, ‘M’e’Mathato Nkuatsana responsible for adolescent sexual reproductive health rights in the Ministry of Health and ‘M’e Maria Vivas Alicea from UNICEF. ‘M’e Seboku Tšehloana from National Curriculum Development Centre, ‘M’e Maria Vivas Alicea and ‘M’e Violet Maraisane United Nations Fund for Population Activities could not attend due to connectivity issues and other circumstances.
The Peace Education Researcher responsible for Grassroots Movement and Social Change at DPE also responsible for peaceful school model initiative Mrs ‘Makuape Kuape said that DPE has helped schools to establish students’ structures that involve them in turning their schools into peaceful learning environment.
Nancy said bullying at school has become such a problem that some students are afraid to be in school. She said that peace education at schools can change this behavior and promote a culture of peace among amongst students to help each other to perform well in their studies. ‘M’e ‘Mathato said that this should form part of package given to adolescence manual. She linked the peace education to the Comprehensive Sexuality Education already delivered to adolescent. On the other hand, Queen Nwendamutwu Regional Liaison Representative indicated that there will be other lessons that will follow as to capacitate principals and teachers to excel and implement peace education at schools, this came after Mr. Maphoma of St. Thomas High School indicated that they spent very little time with students at school, therefore it might be a challenge to implement what they have learned.
Teachers applauded DPE for the session and promised to attend all the 12 units of the course!!!