The Chair of peace Is a pedagogical proposal for the cooperation of the educational institutions of the countries for the establishment of a culture of peace.
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the culture of peace refers to a set of"values, attitudes and behaviors,"which are based on principles of"freedom, justice, Democracy, tolerance and solidarity".
It is an instructional, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary program that includes a set of topics that aim to sensitize students from colleges and universities about the benefits of peaceful coexistence.
So, it is an effort to incorporate these notions in the classroom through different didactic methodologies ranging from lectures and conferences to forums and photographic and / or artistic exhibitions.
It is usually carried out in countries where social and armed conflicts have been experienced as a way to alleviate the harmful effects that these produce for the next generations.
Those who defend this chair consider that education for peace is necessary to eradicate the violent habits that develop when daily life is plagued with examples of a culture of violence. Although there is a general proposal, each country adapts it to its own reality.
Origin of the Chair of Peace
In order to locate the origin of this chair, reference must be made to the UNITWIN project initiated by UNESCO in 1991 to foster collaboration between institutions of higher education through interdisciplinary chairs.
Since that time many UNESCO Chairs have been implemented in universities in different parts of the world.
One of them is the Chair of Peace that, for example, has been applied in Puerto Rico since 1996 and in Colombia since 2014.
That is to say that education for peace poses the implicit challenge of educating in and for the conflict, from a positive perspective that addresses it in all its complexity.
In the end, conflict is a natural consequence of coexistence and has individual and collective implications.
Characteristics of the Chair of Peace
- This chair goes hand in hand with the notion of sustainable development of societies.
- It requires the active participation of the state authorities.
- It is an initiative that involves the different actors of the educational communities.
- The work areas of this Chair include:
- Education in and for human rights.
- Democratic participation.
- Respect for diversity and the environment.
- Promotion of sustainable development.
Activities of the Chair of Peace
The activities of this Chair include as many educational institutions as they want and can develop. But broadly speaking, they can be:
- Cinema forums.
- Exhibitions of audiovisual, art and photography.
- Training of teachers and non-teaching staff in the area of education for peace.
- Preparation of didactic material.
- Promotion and dissemination of research in the area.
The Chair of Peace in Colombia
Colombia is a South American country with more than 50 years in an armed conflict between the national army and different paramilitary, irregular or insurgent groups.
In 2014, negotiations began between the government and one of these groups: the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
Beyond the opinions and considerations that this fact has generated, it revealed the need to prepare the population for a possible post-conflict era. In that context was born Decree 1038 of 2015, which regulates the Chair of Peace.
Some of the topics included in the Chair of Peace in Colombia are:
- Justice and Human Rights.
- Sustainable use of natural resources.
- Protection of the cultural and natural wealth of the Nation.
- Peaceful resolution of conflicts.
- Prevention of bullying.
- Diversity plurality.
- Political participation.
- Historical memory.
- Moral dilemmas.
- Social impact projects.
- History of peace agreements, national and international.
- Life projects and risk prevention.
However, they are only obliged to develop two topics from this list and may be those that the institution deems appropriate.
And this is one of the main criticisms that has received the implementation of the Chair of Peace in Colombia, in addition to the accusation of ambiguity that falls on the decree that governs it.
In 2016, Editorial Santillana and the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana de Bogotá published a Guide for the implementation of the Chair of Peace, which propose ways of introducing, developing and evaluating the topics therein envisaged.
Regarding the way of evaluating the Chair of Peace, the aforementioned guide proposes a qualitative evaluation, which seeks to verify that the student understands and values the role of peace training and citizenship in the construction and development of a country.
In short, this is an initiative that has followers and detractors but is implemented in colleges and universities by legal mandate.
Chair of Peace in the world
The Chairs of Peace have become a creative space for the resolution of conflicts around the world and that is why educational institutions from different latitudes have adopted it. Here are some examples:
- In Merida, Venezuela, since 1987 the Chair of Peace and Human Rights"Mons. Oscar Arnulfo Romero", a community organization of social development, attached to the University of Los Andes.
- At the University of Maryland College Park, the Anwar Sadat Chair for Peace and Development functions since 1997.
- The Chair of Peace, as an artistic project, has been working at the Santa Bárbara Foundation for Cultural Development since 2009.
- At the Río Piedras Campus of the University of Puerto Rico, the UNESCO Chair in Education for Peace has been working since 1996.
- Cascón Soriano, Paco (2001). To educate in and for the conflict. Retrieved from: unesco.org.
- Charria, Arturo (2016). What is the Chair of Peace? Recovered from: elespectador.com
- College of behavioral & social sciences. Endowed Peace Chairs. Retrieved from: bsos.umd.edu.
- Cruz, Juan Daniel (s / f). The Chair of Peace: law or pedagogy? Recovered from: javeriana.edu.co.
- Peace Chair Porject (s / f). About the Peace Chair. Retrieved from: peacechairproject.org
- Salamanca, Manuel & otros. Guide for the implementation of the Chair of Peace. Recovered from: javeriana.edu.co.
- Sicsal (2007). The Chair of Peace and Human Rights"Mons. Oscar Arnulfo Romero". Retrieved from: sicsal.net.
- Academic reflections (s / f). Chair of peace. Recovered from: reflexionesacademicas.uao.edu.co.