Alhaji Suallah Abdallah Quandah, the Bono Regional Executive Secretary, National Peace Council (NPC), has appealed to the Ghana Education Service (GES) to help instill the concept of peace and its dividends into the minds of school children.
“It is very important that young people and school children appreciate and understand the concept of peace so that they will grow with it into adulthood,” he stated.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines of a peace seminar held at the Sunyani Senior High School (SHS), Alhaji Quandah said school children must learn the values of tolerance, peaceful co-existence and respect for diversity from the scratch.
The Regional Secretariat of the NPC organized the seminar on non-violence responses to conflict, as part of the Council’s efforts to sensitize young people on the need for them to appreciate conflict as a natural phenomenon.
As people from different ethnic, religious and socio-cultural backgrounds, Alhaji Quandah said the GES ought to ensure that school children were mindful of their diversity in addition to appreciating and respecting themselves.
“The fact that students are from different backgrounds alone is a source of disagreement and misunderstanding, and the best way we can help them to deal with this is inculcating in them the concept of peace, tolerance and forbearance”.
“One of the issues of conflicts in our communities is our appreciation and management of diversities, therefore if young ones are sensitized, it becomes part of them and conflicts will not necessarily degenerate into violence,” he added.
Ahaji Quandah said building the capacity of school children, as peace actors remained essential to strengthening democratic governance, saying “students like youth will be part of future local development and assume important roles in the resolution of conflicts”.
He indicated the lives and experiences of young people were more complex than generally portrayed, saying “the youth can play many roles within the fragile and conflict settings when they are well-empowered in conflict prevention and peace-building”.
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