HWPL Peace Education Conference
HWPL Peace Education, Changing the Future of Korea by Building an Upright Character
On the 19th, the HWPL Peace Education Conference was held under the theme, “HWPL Peace Education, Changing the Future of Korea by Building an Upright Character” to create a peaceful future. HWPL has made agreements with education ministries and institutions, providing peace education to students of different nationalities and cultures.
HWPL, the host of the conference, has developed peace education on a global level for the past three years since 2017. Working with educators around the world, HWPL developed teaching materials that can nurture students into peace leaders and citizens. It has signed Memoranda of Agreement with education ministries in seven countries and Memoranda of Understanding with 214 schools in 23 countries, implementing peace education at all levels from elementary school to university students.
Peace education, which is one of the key initiatives of HWPL, was proposed as an innovative approach to realize Article 10, “spreading a culture of peace,” of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW). This year’s HWPL Peace Education Conference addressed the necessity for peace education and its future direction, drawing support and cooperation from the educational circles in South Korea.
Former and current superintendents of education, university presidents, professors, and educators in attendance confirmed that HWPL Peace Education can be an effective alternative in the reality of the Korean educational field where order and courtesy between teachers and students are disappearing. Moreover, they agreed that peace education is key to establishing a foothold for Korea to become a nation of peace. To spread peace education, schools and educational organizations promised to organize a class for HWPL Peace Education.
A congratulatory address was delivered by Mr. Sung Ho Shin, Chairman of Happiness Culture Forum. “For us to restore peace, which is humanity’s greatest task, educators of the current generation must be on the forefront in spreading the culture of peace. It was taught that the mission of education in this era is to teach the students, who are the future leaders, about the noble values of peace and the correct spirit of peace so that they can grow into citizens of peace. If each student grows up to be a citizen of peace, they will be able to contribute to their surrounding communities, and ultimately, to the development of peace in their countries,” he said.
Next, there was a presentation by teachers who were the first to recognize the excellence of HWPL Peace Education and provided it to children and youth. Ms. Areum Yang, Gwangju-Jeonnam Branch General Director of HWPL Department of Peace Education, presented a case of peace education being implemented in Israel and Palestine, regions suffering from long years of conflict between the ethnicities. “Ignorance and lack of interest in peace turn people away from peace. Through Peace Education, students found the value and importance of peace and wanted to put peace into practice starting from their own personal life,” she said.
She explained, “In a class with the theme, ‘Everyone has a wish for peace inside,’ the tool that we used was the concept of ‘peace DNA.’ After watching a video on war and conflict and a contrasting video on peace, students expressed their feelings. All children said they felt good and happy when they saw peaceful scenes and realized that they are people with ‘peace DNA’ who love peace.”
Mr. Jung Jae Lee, Vice Chairman of the Korean Association of University Presidents, said in his address, “Peace education will greatly change our education as well as our lives. I believe the Republic of Korea could turn out many talented individuals thanks to educators who did not fear challenge and devotion. There may be some pressures and worries about peace education in classrooms. But the future of our students and our country depends on it. I ask all of you to share your strength and wisdom so that HWPL Peace Education can take root successfully.” In the international paradigm towards peace, he emphasized to nurture talents who have the ingredients of peace and take the lead in opening an era of peace.
This day, participants from various walks of life, including firefighting, police, social welfare, culture, and art, agreed that peace education is needed for people in all fields, professions, and ages. HWPL Peace Education opened up the possibility for various sectors of society to cooperate. Experts from different walks of life agreed to develop various education programs so that anyone, from children to adults, can learn peace education.
There was a special time for educators to sign an agreement, pledging to carry out their mission of nurturing peace leaders. Those who agreed on the need for peace education committed to creating a peaceful future. Out of love for peace and children, the participants signed the agreement, which read, “I understand that peace character education is essential for Korean students. I hereby agree to work together to increase awareness of character education among Korean educators and build an upright character in Korean students.”
“Education that teaches and spreads peace and harmony for permanent peace of our children and future generation”
Education should not stop at simply conveying knowledge but should help students until they acquire that knowledge as their own and make a habit of it. The way to leave peace as a legacy for future generations is to nurture peace citizens through education, who will then enjoy their right to peace without restriction. For permanent peace of this generation as well as the generations to come, peace and harmony should be taught and spread through peace education.