By Constance Ndeleko
Governmental officials from Kenya, other countries in Africa and different stakeholders converged in Nairobi for a workshop directed by Save the Children for AU Peace and Education cluster strategy development and capacity building.
The three day workshop highlighted challenges that the African child faces on their day to day activity that limits them from enjoying their rights especially the right to acquire basic education.
This particular cluster focused on Safe School and countries presented on different challenges they encounter and what measures they have embarked on to ensure the child’s rights are not limited. Some of the issues that were deliberated on include:
Radicalization into Violence extremism, Child soldiers, Child refugee, Silencing the gun/ weapons, Conflict/violence and war, attack by non-state groups,and other issues that even in presence of peace still factor into limiting children’s right to access education.
Different regions in Africa encounter different situation that disadvantages children from accessing education, from Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab Militia, conflict and violence from ethnic, cattle rustling clashes and with a resent form of violence that has erupted in Zambia of Gassing.
From the groups presentations; we got a glimpse of how each state present deal with issues and the tactics they use to ensure safe schools. ‘It is paramount for importance that we enhance the vital state of our children in Africa and states can begin with endorsing the Safe School Declaration and implementing it to its core to ensure we are safeguarding the future of our children’, says Director Save the Children, Doris Mpoumou.
Out of the continents countries only 28 have endorsed the declaration. However, there’s need to come up with the right strategies, implement legal frameworks and policies to safeguard this initiative and build a better future for the African children.
Some of the deliberation that were deemed important to achieve safe schools in Africa were:
- Enhancing Peace Education-involving community, parents and military towards peace building activities.
- Initiating peace clubs, Peace clubs, and corners, Amani books, integrating sports to build and promote peace
- Schools should not be used by military/militia groups since it creates a perception and leads to destruction of the facility as well as school are considered as place of peace
- Need to promote Conflict resolution approaches, Community/parents sensitization
- Use of technology eg. Radio/Mobile educational programs,
- Capacity building to everyone as well as involving Religious leaders and institution into peace initiative.
- Reconciliation of gender and traditions, ownership of good practices by community and countries
- Sustainability of funds, Advocacy, monitoring to support and promote Peace Education and need for Popularization of Agenda2063
At the end of the workshop, we understood that there’s a clear need to influence peace building indicators and recommend the best practices to approach and resolve issues by involving everyone to become a peace actor and committee towards upholding peace education to heighten safety in schools.