Amb. Joshua Fagbemi
“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family “– Kofi Annan
In this contemporary world, a series of events play out in our daily activities that define the order of the day. Even regarding the basic needs of life which are essential to what controls the state of mind, there exists a unique element that offers high orderliness. Across the globe, the reigns of terrorism, religious conflicts, community threats, and economic imbalances serve as a disturbing barrier to this identity. This context is of the essence in our immediate society, county, and the nation at large. The presence of it connotes the frequency that sets the atmosphere in a reasonably balanced state. An element so needful to society as PEACE is of incomparable value.
Its importance is already clearly stated, it is unfortunate that its presence in the environment seems rare. Notably, it has now become a matter of paying to get peace or even a matter of force to have order in our environs. Owing to the context that the entire world isn’t a safe place to be anymore, peace has now become an entity that its presence only occurs in rare times. Negatives like death, diseases, hunger, unemployment, insecurity, poverty, inequality, and the unbalanced state of the earth are like the driver that possesses the energy to chase peace far away. As much as it’s easy to cause the absence of peace, it is a matter of collective positive changes of efforts to bring back its presence.
Almost everyone wants peace; we all know what its presence does to the entire environment and the pleasures it commands. Looking at the structure of the world, one of the most powerful things in life is EDUCATION. It allows us to find the meaning behind everything and helps improve lives in a massive way. As education creates the indulgence of intellectual knowledge, it is an instrument that will help understand the philosophy of peace which contains its importance and features, what to engage to possess it, dangers of not having it, and its drivers. As education seeks to shed light on the path of life, such light will be used to generate the illumination on peace.
One of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals is its Goal 4 which is ‘Access to Quality Education. This goal aims to ‘ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.’ It further enlarges itself by providing 19 targets that include achieving inclusive education for all without discriminating and increasing the quality of education through recruiting qualified teachers, providing essential facilities, and placing a high shot on developing countries, knowing such are much lacking in the provision of quality education.
Moreover, a high percentage of the deprivation of quality education is found in developing countries, mostly African countries. This has been a major reason there has been backwardness in the affairs of such countries. Also, lack of access to education, in general, creates inequality (income inequality) and poverty which breeds insecurity. This creates the absence of peace. The connection that exists between education and peace might not be obvious enough in the short run, but in the long run of activities, there will be no doubt that a major driver of peace is education – which has been termed by Nelson Mandela as “the most powerful weapon that can be used to change the world.”
Education thus gives us an understanding of the world around us and offers us opportunities to make use of such knowledge wisely (which includes how to call and promote peace). Irrespective of race, breed, and gender, education makes it possible for people to stand out as equals with all other persons from various walks of life. This then breaks the power of inequality and improves the strength of peace. Education is the platform that makes it possible to defeat all barriers. In this case, it has been seen as an instrument or tool to disband and correct barriers that seem threatening to the affairs and smooth running of a nation.
To achieve the presence of peace at the highest level, there is a need to make provision for quality education. The government needs to ensure the annual budget is shaped to be of help in the execution of policies that will in turn improve the kind of education given to young ones. It must be ensured there is no discrimination when this is carried out. This connotes the stance of inclusive education where the special ones and the regular ones are being catered for equally. Also, all members of society must understand the fact that a deep connection exists between education and peace. If there is to be a peaceful society, the inhabitants need to be given quality education.
No benefit exists in a society that lacks peace. Such a society is always riddled with things that drive the nation to depression, thereby birthing aggressive citizens, an unbearable environment, and selfless war. To avoid these, SDG 4 should be made available for all so as to build a needed environment for peace.
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