The Role of Peace Education and Crisis in Covid-19
Hello, I’m Shaileshkumar Narsinhbhai Prajapati, principal of the Gogadhani school in India. It is an honor to present the theme of “The Role of Peace Education and Crisis in Covid-19”.
What is the most memorable thing in 2020 for you? Perhaps it is Covid-19. Covid has changed our lives to the point where there is a saying, “The pre-Corona society won’t come back.” The Covid Pandemics is not just a public health crisis. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called Covid- 19 a “human crisis beyond the public health crisis, more specifically a crisis of human rights.” Covid has taught us what problems our society has, including social inequality, human rights discrimination, social and economic polarization, poverty, and violence.
The education community also had a lot of trouble with Covid. Schools in India were also forced to shut down to protect students from Covid. Digital learning was the best alternative. Sadly, however, the digital situation in India was not good. Indian education can’t go online – only 8% of homes with young members have computers with net link. The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed how rooted structural imbalances are between rural and urban, male and female, rich and poor, even in the digital world. Many teachers are still trying to teach students in the middle of this Covid-19, but overcoming the social and digital gaps requires joint national and social efforts.
In addition, serious academic deficits are expected for students who are not taken care of properly in their homes or students who cannot do self-directed learning, and students’ safety and psychological anxiety are also worrisome. This may be the concern of the educators here too. Is the crisis in education a problem that is solved naturally after Covid-19? Even if Covid-19 ends, the problems of deep-rooted inequality, economic alienation, and human rights in the old era will not be solved. In order to use Covid-19 as a precursor and a warning to a greater crisis and to solve the fundamental problems and bring about a transition to a better era, we must find a lesson in Covid-19.
I’d like to share the lesson I learned through Covid-19. The first is that only cooperation and solidarity for the good of the public can save us from a crisis, realizing that the global community is one. Even if some countries stop the spread of infectious diseases within their territory for a while, it is difficult to prevent a recurrence as long as the epidemic is spread around the world. In addition, viruses are constantly mutating, so if a more deadly strain occurs in one area, the entire human race will be at risk. So the only way for me to be safe from the virus is to work together until all mankind is safe. This epidemic cannot be solved without cooperation. As such, we must acknowledge the dedication of all members of society and know that we depend on each other. We should realize that doing public good can eventually create individual safety and happiness.
The second lesson from Covid-19 is the importance of mature civic awareness. Many countries are suffering from Covid, but the results are different. While differences in political, economic, and medical facilities are important factors, mature civic awareness is also an important factor. Apart from the government’s activities, we were able to confirm that a country that voluntarily cooperates with the prevention of the Covid situation could have better results based on mutual consideration and respect from citizens.
After the Covid-19 incident, the priority of the education community was how to ensure that students and teachers were safely engaged in education. But from the lessons of Covid, we have to think about what we should teach the next generation to open and lead a new era. What’s wrong must be corrected and what’s needed in a new era should be found and taught to the students who are the main characters of the next generation. I think this is our mission as educators in the Covid-19 generation.
I was able to find the answer to the education that we need to move forward in peace education at HWPL. HWPL’s peace education has a specific curriculum that can teach harmony and peace between individuals, communities, nature, people and generations, and aims to foster peace citizens. It is similar to the education of citizens of the world, which is being implemented by UNESCO.
also believe that peace education at HWPL will be of great help to achieve inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities, the fourth of the 17 goals of sustainable development determined by the UN General Assembly by 2030. It is a basic human right that anyone should be educated without discrimination. But still, around the world, one in six children aged 6-17 cannot attend school. Citizens’ consciousness and efforts will be important for a society to ensure inclusive and fair quality education for all. There should be citizens with human rights, gender equality, peace, and nonviolent culture, world citizenship, cultural diversity, and sustainable lifestyle. This could be formed through education. Peaceful education at HWPL is approaching lifelong education, which can educate all ages for children, adolescents, and adults. And membership of the HWPL is not just about educating peace, but also about peace citizens who put it into practice and are making it happen. This will provide students with a good model of being a peaceful citizen.
I am also currently conducting peace education at my school with HWPL Daegu-Gyeongbuk Branch. The school is located in the countryside, so the internet situation is not good. So not many people can participate. But I think this education is very valuable. The reason is that educated students will play the role of peaceful citizens in our community. I think that the increase in the number of peaceful citizens who actually move to pursue peace and create peace in a peaceful way is the most important factor in the development and peace of my community. So not only students but also teachers and parents are participating in the online peace education. My father is also taking education. It is my hope to participate in the future peace teacher training and develop professionalism as a peace teacher, and to provide peace education to students when covid ends and school is reopened.
Thank you for listening till the end.
Mr. Shaileshkumar Narsinhbhai Prajapati
Principal of Gogadhani school in India
3rd floor, 397, Hangang-daero, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea