National Forum on Education for the Culture of Peace in Mali

The UNESCO Office in Bamako (Mali) and the Malian Ministry of Education organized a national forum titled “Education for the Culture of Peace and Living Together” in Bamako on September 28 and 29, 2015. The forum follows a series of activities aiming to pacify the schools after the security crisis that affected northern Mali. More than a hundred participants, MPs, local authorities, civil society and experts from the educational world attended the event.

UNESCO-IICBA with its expertise participated in the forum to give a presentation in the theme of social-cultural values: social cohesion and peacebuilding factors. In addition, concrete proposals were made to address the issue of systematically introducing the teaching of socio-cultural values in school. Furthermore, clear action points were indicated bearing on curricular guidelines, curriculum, training of teachers and educators, management and organization of schools, and school-community relations.

Besides social-cultural values, other themes of the forum include education environment; literacy pledge of mutual understanding, peace and national unity; tutors/mentors resilience: caring; involvement of communities in school management and decentralized in a participatory approach: consolidating element and strengthening the sense of belonging. 

At the end of the forum, participants raised strong recommendations some of which must be mentioned: 

• To integrate the socio-cultural values in education policies and curricula

• To involve communities in the choice of integrating socio-cultural values in school , taking into account local specificities

• To develop a learning evaluation policy that gives a place to socio-cultural values

• To motivate university to do research on fundamental socio-cultural values that constitute the cement of Malian society

• To establish an effective teaching monitoring mechanism of the integration of socio-cultural values in education system.

The security situation has been critical in the year 2012 and 2013 in northern Mali which has largely affected local schools. The forum is a part of the UNESCO project “Education in emergency situations to strengthen resilience in the Sahel: Mali support” funded by the Japanese government to back the schools after the return of peace. Within its framework, training modules have been developed for teachers of formal and non-formal education as well as teacher trainers. 

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