Although Afghanistan has increasingly witnessed peace movements in recent years, there seems no comprehensive strategy to cover all dimensions of peace such as cultural aspect, educational aspect, social aspect and political aspects. Almost all citizens from all parts of the country, regardless of ethnic, religious, lingual, gender differences raised their voices for putting an end to war in the country. However, Afghan people had always been in thirsty of peace but this feeling has increased with boost of educational level and global awareness in recent years. So far, these popular movements have been very praiseworthy, but the problem is that we do not have any long-term plan that covers all aspects of peace in the country. Politically, there is no strategic prospect in peace building as we have been seeking peace from effect not cause, from branches not root and from weak position not strong position. Socially and culturally, we have also shortcomings that this article is going to discuss in the following paragraphs.
Socially and culturally, peace building needs certain social and culture bed otherwise it is not possible to reach peace. In other word, we usually define peace as absence of war and violence while it covers a vast range of social, psychological, economical, cultural and religious dimensions. It refers to a vast series of harmony and cooperation amongst at all levels of social life and human activity. So, the concept of peace is beyond the feeling of peace or the absence of violence or even the fulfillment of some basic needs, and it can be defined as the existence of justice, love, equality and unity in all aspects of life. Therefore, it is necessary to learn peace is not only as a broad concept, but also as a tangible need and reality, and to use all resources and facilities to educate and promote it through formal and informal mechanisms. For example, the schools and universities can educate certain subject such as cultural diversity, population, ecosystem degradation and pollution, racism, war, terrorism, global relations, and many more to raise students’ awareness about peace.
Some experts believe that educating human rights concepts through formal educational system is one of the necessities of the present age. If we want to reach pervasive peace and tranquility, it requires to pave the way for all its necessary social, cultural and political ground. Thus, the experts recommend to include peace in curriculum of lower and higher educational system to promote the culture of peace and tolerance in the country. for example, UNESCO recommends peace educational program should be recognized as a universal principle in education. It means, peace educational program should be included in all educational activities so as to mentally change students. The organization has announced the components of peace as follows: human rights, co-operation and solidarity, preservation of cultures, self and others, internationalism, the protection of environment and spirituality. This can help students learn the knowledge and skills necessary for a peaceful and non-violent life and apply this knowledge and skills in the family, social interactions, national interactions and beyond. Of course, we need to pay more attention on concepts, logic, goals, methods and environment of peace educational program, as well as empowering people to learn peaceful behavior based on their beliefs and values so that they can play a positive role in society.
In general, the current challenges of human rights and its important role in peace building has vastly drawn the attention of peace building organizations and intellectuals to “peace educational program.” Amnesty International defines human rights educational plan as a program designed to provide knowledge and understanding of human rights and to promote the values of human rights in formal and informal programs includes: raising awareness in the field of values related to human rights, strengthening and observing human rights through education, and familiarity with the guarantee mechanisms of dealing with human rights violations and the obligation to comply with them. In Afghanistan, As the long wars and the widespread insecurity have so largely disturbed the public spirit that it is difficult to reach peace without implementing such programs.
Although there is no disagreement in inclusion of peace in curriculum of education, there are some discussion and challenges in how to enter and implement such programs in educational curriculum. If the heavy human rights contents are taught without enough simplification and institutionalization, it may not produce ideal result. So, it should include in a wide range of processes comprise of learning and practicing context so that enable the learners to develop their personality individually or collectively in the community. This means that human rights need to be taught and practiced together at all levels of the education system through traditional way of teaching as well as daily exercises. In other words, human rights education is just the beginning. The purpose of this training is to stimulate the minds of students to advance the goals of humanitarian law. That is, the basic understanding and commitment to human rights must be cultivated in the minds of children and young generation.
In order to reach the abovementioned goal, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education should make serious efforts to facilitate the training of peace skills as of the main goals of the Afghanistan’s educational system. Accordingly, the ministry of peace and culture should undertake more scientific approaches for reaching such goals. Textbooks should include all necessary components of peace such as social justice, freedom of opinion, and cultural diversity, inclusiveness, human rights and so on. we must note that the peace program neither could be confined to mere negotiations with a certain armed party and nor could be designed or decided by certain group. As the armed conflicts are watered by various social and political motives, they must be thoroughly analyzed and taken to consideration.