Libraries and education for peace in Pakistan.

Author:Bhatti, Rubina
Position:Report
 
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Introduction

Pakistan has been facing the biggest challenge of terrorism and extremism for more than a decade that is consequently affecting all walks of life including educational institutions and their libraries. Therefore, the need for investigating the active part of libraries in promoting education for peace is the call for every academic and library professional. Thus, using libraries as a platform for exploring the causes and affects of extremism, bringing about positive change in the societal thinking and attitude convincing the global communities that violence is not an intrinsic ingredient of Pakistani society and that all the contributory factors must be examined, is the basic motivation of this study.

Waslekar and Serageldin, (2006) indicated that extremism and terrorism are plagues that take humanity back to the dark ages, a time when human life had no value, and violence prevailed over the rule of law. It is, therefore, of paramount importance to start examining the roots of these phenomena and to discuss appropriate response strategies that must be implemented in order to combat these modern day crises.

Objectives of the Study

* To identify the roles, strategies, basic issues and factors regarding the successful implementation for libraries in education for peace;

* To suggest the possible ways for libraries in promoting education for peace in Pakistan

Methodology

The methodology is based on reviewing the related literature and informal interviews with educationists, psychologists, sociologists, library professionals and other society members in Pakistan. Extensive discussion was also conducted to highlight the possible roles of libraries for facilitating education for peace in Pakistan with the academicians and library experts from USA, UK, Germany, Hungary, Nigeria, South Africa, India and Nepal during the International Conference in India in February, 2010.

What is Peace Education?

Peace education is a participatory holistic process that includes teaching for and about democracy and human rights, nonviolence, social and economic justice, gender equality, environmental sustainability, disarmament, traditional peace practices, international law, and human security (Hague Appeal for Peace Global Campaign for Peace Education).

Hague Appeal for Peace Global Campaign for Peace Education pointed out that;

"A culture of peace will be achieved when citizens of the world understand global problems, have the skills to resolve conflicts and struggle for justice non-violently, live by international standards of human rights and equity, appreciate cultural diversity, and respect the Earth and each other. Such learning can only be achieved with systematic education for peace".

Peace Education is about empowering people with the skills, attitudes, and knowledge: to build, maintain, and restore relationships at all levels of human interaction.

* to develop positive approaches towards dealing with conflicts -from the personal to the international.

* to create safe environments, both physically and emotionally, that nurture each individual.

* to create a safe world based on justice and human rights.

* to build a sustainable environment and protect it from exploitation and war (Harris, 2002).

Previous Related Studies

The author found shortage of literature about the role of libraries in peace promotion. The Sierra Leone Association of Archivists, Librarians, and Information Scientists' (SLAALIS) organised their fourth annual conference on the theme "Information for peace building in the 21st century," on 21st-23rd March 2001. The conference resolved amongst other things that:

* SLAALIS should strengthen its advocacy and lobbying strategies with government, the Parliamentary Committee on Education, Civil Society Movement, the National Commission for Democracy and Human Rights (NCDHR), Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) and other organizations dealing with peace building in implementing its programmes and activities.

* SLAALIS should provide a forum/base for activities relating to peace building, peace education and conflict resolution in the country.

* SLAALIS should work in collaboration with relevant organizations like Government, NCDHR, DDR, Civil Society Movement, Freetown City...

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