By DPE Communications

Lerotholi Polytechnic became a pioneer in embracing Development for Peace Education (DPE) peaceful school model when the latter facilitated leadership training for the incoming Student Representative Council at Botleng Guest House in Ha Makhoathi, on the 9th – 10th February 2019 just outside the Maseru City.

The student leadership of the institution that has been on the public domain for acts of violence which even cost lives of in-coming students, was eager to engage and learn as much as they could to make their institution different. ‘Myself and my team are concerned about the low pass rate in our institution…we need to be equipped to break the ice and ensure that students, management and teaching staff work collectively to improve the situation…even community should help” said Monyane Machema chair of the SRC in appreciation of the DPE initiative and the decision of the management to help them be good leaders. The training focused on decision making, understanding and resolving conflicts effectively through dialogue. Participants were also introduced to the culture of peace and guided into how they could use it to make Lesotho a peaceful learning environment. Speaking to the students, Melida Bohloko-Kuape, Peace Education Researcher said that DPE has come up with the peaceful school model to avert violent strikes, promote dialogue as a means of resolving conflicts in school and encouraging student to engage management.  This initiative is targeting six tertiary institutions of education and Lerotholi Polytechnic is the first one to benefit from the programme. Ideally Student Representative Councils in these institutions should be able to engage management and government including National Manpower Development Secretariat to resolve their issues peacefully. Another target for the initiative is to build leadership that is able to effectively use available governance avenues to inform government decision making at all levels.

The culture of peace is defined as ‘a set of values, attitudes, modes of behaviour and ways of life that reject violence and prevent conflicts by tackling their root causes to solve problems through dialogue and negotiation among individuals, groups and nations (UN,1999: Resolution A/RES/53/243, Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace).

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