Importance of peace must be taught in schools: Chissano

09 Jun, 2024 - 00:06 0 Views
Importance of peace must be taught in schools: Chissano Former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano addresses graduates and guests while Africa University Vice Chancellor Prof Peter Mageto (right) looks on during the institution’s 30th graduation ceremony yesterday. — Picture: Tinayi Nyadzayo

The Sunday Mail

Ray Bande in MUTARE

PEACE should be taught as a specialised learning area in schools across Africa to inculcate the values of unity, solidarity and development, former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano has said.

He was speaking at the 30th Africa University (AU) graduation ceremony in Mutare yesterday, where he was the guest of honour.

The violent experiences he witnessed in his country, he said, taught him the importance of peace.

He also said being well-educated enhances people’s capacity to engage in peaceful conduct and shun violence.

“We must speak about this hard-won peace to the young ones so that they know and understand how to promote and protect it. Peace must be taught in schools so that it is embedded in their moral fabric. The culture of peace is core to our values as Africans.

“Peace must be our concern today, tomorrow and forever. I have witnessed, first-hand, the destruction and torture that comes with violent confrontations — people had their hands and lips cut off in cases of extreme torture, while many more were displaced, and I have also witnessed the power of dialogue and reconciliation.”

He said he found it challenging to deal with rebels during his tenure as president.

“When I tried to have talks with the so-called rebels, my people were saying do not go there; they have blood on their hands. It took two years for me to convince them that I should. This is why I said I witnessed both the ugliness of conflict and the beauty of peace. Never underestimate the power of reconciliation and forgiveness.”

He implored the graduates to carry forward the torch of peace as they move into the next chapter of their lives.

“It is your responsibility, as you graduate, to go ahead and enhance peace in communities, starting from within yourself, transcending to family level then community or tribe and, ultimately, as a nation and continent. It is important to embrace solidarity,” he added.

Fife hundred and sixty-nine students were capped by the former Mozambican president after they successfully completed studies in different faculties.

The graduates were also urged to take up the responsibility of developing Africa.

“I stand here as a son of Africa; a continent rich in potential and resistance. My wish is to see this potential being transformed into reality. We cannot remain with the potential tag. All of you graduating today have the responsibility of taking Africa where it should be.

“You have the responsibility of taking Africa to its rightful place. It is not all about the challenges that we have as a continent but the boundless opportunities out there if we dare to dream,” he said.

Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira, AU Chancellor Bishop Gaspar Joao Domingos, AU Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Mageto and other dignitaries attended the ceremony.

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