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The Peace Education program was designed to address the rising level of child and youth involvement in deadly conflicts in Nigeria. It also tooks cognizance locations with high record of youth involvement in resource-based, economic and political conflicts either as actors or as victims. This culture of violence and retribution greatly compromises positive traditional family values of respect and reconciliation. Prompting the project to sought amongst others issues

* The growing rate of child and adolescent delinquencies and involvement of violence in targeted zones;
* The deteriorating cultural and social institutions for positive psycho social orientation;
* Emergence of Cultism in primary and Post Primary Schools and the proliferation of violence in these schools, birth by Nigeria’s growing democracy.

Goal and Objective

The strategic objective of the Peace Education project is to reduce the involvement of children and adolescents in violence by giving them the skills of dispute resolution and citizenship. The specific project goal is to build a platform for social dialogue and dispute resolution among primary and post-primary school students in target areas of Delta and Rivers. The expected intermediate result is be a culture of tolerance, dispute resolution and non-violence among children and adolescents to be achieved through establishment of peer mediation structures and peace education activities in the formal school system.

Indication of Success

Through the set milestones for the project in the two States of focus-Delta and Rivers, increased culture of tolerance and non violence within the pilot schools and beyond has been recorded, creating opportunities for several other ripple effects which include

* Deepened appreciation and capacity for positive behavioral change by students in participating schools and expressed commitment to sustainable peace within their communities;
* Increased interest and voluntary involvement and participation of non pilot schools to the project as well as their commitment to the institutionalization of the project in their own schools;
* Expressed interest by policy makers in the education sector to expand and infuse peace education as part of the curriculum in all schools of the South-south geo political zone.

Highlight of Activities

Activity 1:

Project Planning and Manual Review Meeting to introduce the Project to critical stakeholders with the education sector. It provided a platform to develop strategies for effective implementation of the project and had in attendance representatives of Primary/Post Schools Management Board, Ministry of Education, Nigeria Union of Teachers, Implementing Network members and the Secretariat Project Team.

The outcome was developed strategies for effective implementation of the project, selection of benefiting schools, and inputs into the Manual by participants which reflected the peculiarity of the areas of project implementation and special needs of the benefitting students.

Activity 2

Heads of selected Schools Consultation to Discuss Plans for Effective Implementation of the Peace Education in the schools: This was an opportunity to consider differing administrative and management systems in the selected schools to ensure effectiveness of the project. It provided a platform to adopt implementation strategy as well as discuss and harmonize criteria for selection of participating students and supervising teachers. The schools were selected from urban and rural areas, model schools, day and boarding schools with the geographical spread of each state. Another outcome was expansion of supervising teachers beyond Social Studies, Christian Religious Knowledge and Guidance/Counselling to Physical Education, English, etc Teachers who are closer to the students and will be able to impart the knowledge towards achieving success and impact of the project.

Activity 3:

Training of Trainers for the Selected Teachers From Each School on Peace Education/Peer Mediation. 30 teachers were drawn from the 30 benefitting schools and trained on peace education and peer mediation skills for onward replication among selected students. It also provided a platform to develop and discuss criteria for selection of benefitting students to be trained as peer mediators in the schools. Another outstanding outcome is that the trained teachers replicated the training amongst other teachers to assist in the project which ensured wider audience participation and reduction of monotony by one teacher in nearly half of the 30 schools.

Activity 4:

Replication Training for the Selected Students in Each Benefitting School on Peer Mediation: This provided a platform for the trained teachers to replicate acquired skills amongst selected 25 students in each of the schools. The training was gender-sensitive, done under the supervision and technical support of the implementing network member in each state. Due to the availability of more schools in same compound-School 1 & 2, Primary and Secondary, or Junior and Senior Secondary, the number of trained students was also expanded in some schools to accommodate the varying levels of interest by others which have contributed immensely in reduction of violence in the school and the communities. It also provided a platform to officially launch the Peace Clubs and Peer Mediation Centres in each of the benefitting school.

Activity 5:

Brainstorming Meeting to Develop Information Education Communication Materials for the Peace Education Project: The meeting was organized to enable participants mainly students/peer mediators drawn from the 30 schools to meet, generate impactful IEC resource materials ideas to enhance interest and participation of students in the program. It was also aimed at eliciting civic support to polarize the project beyond the 30 benefitting schools. The materials covered Introductory Booklet, Newsletters, Posters, T-shirts, Stickers and Fliers with motivational messages in English Language. The outcome is that it provided a platform for benefitting students to make inputs into the resources materials to reflect their own idea and thinking. An additional outcome was that it created room for participants who were members of the Peace Clubs in their various school to meet, network and share experience for the first time.

Activity 6:

Production of Information Education and Communication Resource Materials

Activity 6 was focused on production of the Information Education and Communication materials for wider audience participation as well as to elicit support and appreciation from the general public towards the peace education project. While the implementing network member organizations were responsible for the initial bulk distribution, the beneficiaries were responsible for wider circulation of the materials to facilitate peer interest and ownership.

Activity 7:

Retreat for the Members of the Club/Supervising Teachers to Develop Strategies for the Peace-Week. This took place in Rivers and Delta State respectively. It provided a platform for the supervising teachers and benefitting students to share experience reflect on successes, issues and challenges of peer mediation and peace education in their various schools. It also created opportunities for beneficiaries to generate their own ideas, concepts and programs for the proposed peace week. Committees were also set up and action plans mapped out for the preparation and implementation of the peace week.

Activity 8:

Peace Festival in the two States: A one week program which culminated into a one day fanfare by the students in Asaba and Port Harcourt respectively. It provided a platform for the students from the Peer Mediation Clubs to share experiences and fellowship through debates songs and dances, poems, quiz competitions, rallies and visits to relevant stakeholders. Non benefiting schools of the project where also invited as guests to facilitate interest and expansion of the program in others schools in the two states. The regional coordinator of peace education under the Global Partnership Against Armed Conflict, Mr. Francis Aqua was a special guest at the festival in Delta State.

Activity 9:

Lessons Learnt Seminar: A Lessons Learnt Seminar was organized as part of activities to provide opportunity for various stakeholders from the education sector in the South-South geo political zone to reflect on the impact of the project and its contribution to youth development, peacebuilding and social change. There were three paper presentations which formed the discussions points for the program. It provided opportunity to deliberate on way forward for the project in other states of the south south geo political zone. .

Activity 10:

Project Evaluation and Impact Assessment: An internal evaluation and impact assessment of the project was carried out by WANEP Nigeria project team. It highlighted challengee and opportunities for sustainability/possible expansion of the project to other schools and states in the region. Methodology for the assessment was developed to guide the process and achieve optimum result.