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Program

Since 2012 Grains of Peace has worked in partnership with the Minister of National Education (MNE) of Côte d'Ivoire to make this vision a reality. Over the past 3 years it has implemented a national peace education program, which aims to make dialog, cooperation, respect, and inclusion the new school norms.

Program objectives

Our program was developed around three objectives:

  • Contribute to the national effort to build sustainable peace based on an education which teaches psychosocial skills and peace values from an early age.
  • Contribute to improving education quality and student performance through a peace culture education program which equips the teachers with practical pedagogic tools which improve the student-teacher relationship.
  • Prevent physical or psychological violence at school and promote respect for children's rights by training teachers alternative non-violent education methods which facilitate managing the class and promote a safe school environment for the children.

Methodology and activities

Grains of Peace's methodology is systemic. It consists of putting a mechanism in place to transform teaching approaches and practices on a large scale, acting in a systematic and interdisciplinary fashion within the formal education sector.

The program is based on a methodology of reinforcing the capacities of the local teachers by way of a teacher training program which is made up of the following:

  • 8 local trainers were trained at the beginning of the program in Geneva and in Côte d'Ivoire.
  • 21 teacher training sessions on peace education are organized, one for each of the 21 educational districts defined by the Ivorian Minister of Education.
  • For each training session 2 trainers summon 20 local academic inspectors to participate in a 4-day training on peace education and its methods.
  • During the 6 months following their training, each of the 20 trainers commit to giving 4 two-day training sessions to primary school teachers. Each session is attended by 20 teachers. In all, 80 teachers will be trained by each of these 20 local trainers.
  • 5 to 9 months after their training, the 20 local trainers will visit each of the teachers who attended their training session in order to observe and evaluate their usage of peace culture activities.

Results

Over the past three years the program has trained 300 local trainers, who have in turn passed this pedagogic expertise on to 19,919 primary school teachers. Today, 519,546 children benefit from the improvements in the pedagogic practices of the teachers and the pedagogic approaches of a quality education.

The mid-term evaluation showed positive and encouraging results with regards to the reduction of violence at school, the reduction of fear-related absenteeism, the increase in psychosocial skills like dialog and mediation, and a more inclusive and participatory dynamic in class. The quantitative and qualitative results of the evaluation confirm the following key changes:

  • The teachers were less violent, more calm and understanding, and had more self control.
  • The teachers were more at ease, leading to a more active learning process focused on the child.
  • The classrooms were more lively, with the students participating more and staying engaged.
  • The children felt more secure at school and were absent less often.
  • The school community proposed alternative non-violent methods of conflict resolution.
  • Personal changes were experienced on a large scale which contributes to long-term social change.

Partnerships

The viability and sustainability of the project is based on a strategic partnership between Grains of Peace and the Ivorian Minister of National Education, whose implication is essential as much in the technical and administrative aspects as in the role of seeing the project through all stages of its deployment.

The financial partners of the Grains of Peace program in Côte d'Ivoire are Smartpeace, the city of Geneva, and the communes and cities of Meyrin, Plan-les-Ouates, and Lancy.

Recent developments

Given the positive effects of the program, Grains of Peace and the Minister of National Education are launching a new phase which will generalize peace culture education in the Ivorian education system by including training on it in an interdisciplinary fashion in the student teacher initial training curriculum and in the elementary teaching program. This initiative is a unique opportunity to make peace education a pillar of the Ivorian education system. It will provide the future generations with the self-esteem necessary for their success in school, as well as values, knowledge, tools, and skills which will develop their capacity to anticipate and discern, their resilience, and their intelligence for when they will be confronted with conflicts. This project is particularly timely because since 2015 the Minister of National Education has been working on reforming their initial teaching personnel training program.

Download our Programmes in Cote d'Ivoire booklet here.