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Getting education right

29 7 104

If there is any antidote to violence and extremism in our society, it is education. If there is any cure for child abuse it has to be education. If you seek to prevent sex crimes against women, you have to start from education. And finally, if you want to make your society more tolerant and harmonious, the only long-term solution is education.

But what if it is the educated people who have become more violent and extremist? What do you do, when child abusers turn out to not necessarily be uneducated and most misogynists turn out to be degree holders? Well, you ask a simple question: what do we understand by education? This is the question addressed in ‘Education for Peace and Harmony’, the latest report launched by the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), in Islamabad on January 11.

Its findings and recommendations are worth sharing with a wider readership because in our mainstream media such basic issues are seldom raised. Most of our electronic and print media, especially in Urdu, are more concerned about the symptoms rather than the diagnosis and cure, Education for Peace and Harmony deals with both.

The report begins by highlighting that critical thinking and the acceptance of diversity of opinion can infuse harmony in society. There is a need to make education curricula and teaching more inclusive so that teachers and students are sensitised about differences in culture, ethnicity, religion and sects. Teachers especially need to learn how the contents of our curricula are promoting discrimination. The report is a result of intellectual........

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