Including Peace Education in Somalia's Curriculum!!! Sincere Peace-building Effort
Most of the university students in my community choose political science as their first choice, but settle for either public administration or business administration because of lack of availability for their preferred course. I interviewed many students and the reason they wanted to study political science was the apparent failure of the current political system. Somali youth realize the need for a change in the political system in order for them to have a chance at a better life with peace and good governance.
Peace and conflict resolution studies are very essential in the upbringing of today’s generation in Somalia. They grew up in a war zone and learnt from the surrounding environment that it’s okay to solve conflicts in violence and they don’t hesitate to resort to physical confrontation in any conflict. Post civil-war born generation grew up in a chaos and have not had the chance to actually experience a functioning government with a proper political system. The school system does not include conflict resolution education and the fighting and the never-ending war sends them the message that violence is normal.
I had a lengthy discussion about this matter with a friend of mine and we came to the conclusion that peace and conflict resolution studies should be included in the school curriculum. And we decided to collaborate in order to develop a curriculum for Peace and Conflict resolution studies to be used in schools. We are in the initial stages of compiling the materials needed. Fortunately, we were both born and raised in Somalia, and we know the complex Somali context and understand the dynamics of the situation in post civil-war Somalia. After the completion of the curriculum and the final draft is approved by the state government, it will be used initially in schools across Puntland. Afterwards, we plan to reach out to other regions such as Somaliland and South central to further disseminate it to all schools across the nation.
We both have a background in conflict resolution studies. Luckily, she is studying MSc in Conflict resolution and I always had a keen interest in the topic and have read so many books in the field. We want to focus on conflict resolution techniques such as conflict mediation, negotiations, and conflict transformation, as well as peace-keeping and peace building. We can incorporate case studies from the conflicts that occur in our country and educate the youth in better ways to handle and resolve these conflicts using the conflict resolution techniques. We want them to be able to prevent, reduce, and transform conflicts, and we want to help them learn how to recover from violent behaviour. Conflict resolution has its roots in every society and it can be used when customised to the specific context of the conflict situation, therefore, we believe it’s really essential for the younger generation of Somalia to be exposed to conflict resolution techniques and be able to avoid resorting to violence in solving conflicts. It's the first time this has been initiated by two women who have a wild ambition to create a peaceful Somalia. We surely welcome any comments and constructive criticism, as well as guidance from this awesome community.