Renel Global

Fostering Lasting Peace – Insights from the International Day of Education 2024

Renel Ghana Foundation (RGF), in collaboration with the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC) and the World Bank Ghana, convened a Stakeholders’ meeting at the World Bank conference room on the January 24, 2024  to observe the International Day of Education. The overarching theme for this event was “Learning for Lasting Peace.

During the meeting, there was a strong emphasis on advocating for a sustainable allocation and release of appropriate resources by the Government of Ghana to educational institutions. This initiative is aimed at creating an environment that does not only fosters academic excellence but also ensures a peaceful and harmonious atmosphere for both facilitators and learners. Recognizing that peace involves not only the absence of conflict but also a positive and supportive environment.

The Keynote Speaker Mr. Palham Oyiye emphasized that peace is paramount to the well-being and development of all and to have peace, we need to educate ourselves and our children what it means to have peace. He dived deeper to illustrate conflict as not being only the absence of physical harmony but also the state of confusion in the mind of someone caused by the absence of basic needs to function. The confusion of torn uniforms, lack of nutritional food, lack of teaching learning resources and poor school climate affects the peace of learners. Regardless of the existence of the curriculum learners do not have the basic needs to promote their peace and development (The plight is worse in the situation of learners with special needs). The nutritious value in the food served to learners under the School Feeding Programme interventions is deficient in helping the Ghanaian child catch up with other children around the globe.

Likewise, the facilitators who play crucial role in curriculum implementation can also have no peace due to the meagre salaries, no teaching guides and ineffective professional development workshops. Notably, the Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) intervention is a good initiative building confidence of facilitators through the gain of mastery of their subject areas and sharing of learnings.

On state actors/ Duty bearers

The speaker called for a change in the attitudes, behaviour, and practices of Ghanaians citizens. He urged Civil Society Organizations as stakeholders of Education to be watchdogs and agents of ensuring accountability rather than leaving it in the hands of politicians which slows down accountability. Government should release funds rather than just allocation. In addition to resource allocation, RGF also took the opportunity to address a broader societal concern. He called upon political parties and communicators to refrain from engaging in hate speeches, particularly as the country approaches the 2024 election campaign and beyond. RGF believes that fostering peace in society requires not only a well-resourced education system but also a commitment to positive discourse and unity among all stakeholders.

How can we secure a congenial learning environment for our learners?

Access to quality education for all, resources (financial and learning), infrastructure, building capacities and mobilizing funds to support the sector.

In conclusion he echoed how progressive education should be; the success of education goes beyond enrollment rates but rather retention and completion. We need to be concerned and track how many learners are able to further their education and how many are left out after completion. We can help those who are unable to further to progress through skill development.

During the panel discussion, the panelist from the TVET sector Mr. Franklin believed that economic stability leads to peace thus enrolling the youth in TVET and developing their skills to earn a sustainable income will lead to lasting peace.

The Country Director of Right to play in Ghana, said that education should be able to empower people to dialogue without conflict.

The education expert at world bank Madam Eunice defined education as “who you are and your place in the world”.

Call for action

  1. Government to release resources to schools (Blind learners do not have learning materials on the new curriculum in accessible format).
  2. We are calling political parties and communicator to avoid hate speeches.
  3. We are calling upon government, religious and traditional leaders, and the peace council to end conflict and ensure peace in the country.
  4. Peaceful school environment to ensure inner peace of learners and facilitators.

The core belief of the Renel Ghana Foundation regarding education is encapsulated in the statement that education is a right rather than a commodity.This reflects the foundation’s commitment to ensuring that quality education is accessible to all, without discrimination, and is treated as a fundamental right. The foundation pledges to persist in its efforts to promote inclusive and high-quality education for all learners, recognizing that achieving lasting peace involves creating a supportive environment for both teachers and learners through the provision of necessary resources.

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