BY JOY OFASIA
AS a post-conflict country, it is imperative for teachers in the Solomon Islands to impart the values of “Learning for Lasting Peace” to their students. These values include patience, understanding, compassion, and the will to overcome differences for the betterment of society.
Teachers serve as role models for their students both inside and outside the classroom. They have the power to shape young minds and influence their perspectives on various issues, including peace. By setting an example of peaceful behavior and promoting peaceful dialogue, teachers can foster a peaceful environment within their schools.
Neyleen Lae Maeohu, a secondary teacher at Honiara Senior Secondary School, encouraged teachers across the country to take the initiative and set an example for students in their classrooms in light of this year’s International Education Day 2024 theme, “Learning for Lasting Peace.”
The secondary school teacher noted that teachers have a responsibility to set a good example for students in the classroom in keeping with this year’s International Education Day theme, “Learning for Lasting Peace,” which falls on January 24.
“As teachers, it is our duty to set a positive example for learning and long-lasting peace for the children who enter our classrooms,” Neyleen told SOLOMON WOMEN on Friday.
She said that as the country observes this year’s annual International Education Day 2024, we should all take pride in this important event because education has been the key to our success.
“Teachers should inspire students to pursue their goals peacefully and productively, as peace is essential for harmony and learning, and parents and teachers play a crucial role in this process. Therefore, I want to wish all of the educators and learners in the country the very best, and as a teacher, I look forward to putting in more effort to fulfill this year’s theme,” she said.
She emphasized that teachers must set an example of “learning for lasting peace” for children. By promoting respect, tolerance, empathy, and non-violent conflict resolution, teachers can shape the values and behaviors of future generations. Through their actions and teachings, educators have a tremendous opportunity to foster a culture of peace and create a better country.
“Teachers must first build lasting peace within themselves to effectively teach students in schools. The importance of fostering lasting peace is within ourselves, which is achieved through love, caring, and protection,” Neyleen, who has been in the field of teaching for 24 years, said.
She added that educators need to emphasize empathy and compassion. Teachers should encourage students to understand and empathize with the experiences and challenges faced by others. By teaching children to put themselves in someone else’s shoes, teachers can foster a sense of solidarity and understanding.
Likewise, she also noted that teachers should promote a culture of respect and tolerance among students. By teaching children to embrace diversity and understand different cultures, religions, and viewpoints, teachers can combat prejudice and discrimination. This can be achieved through inclusive teaching methods and by encouraging students to engage in dialogue with their peers from different backgrounds.
“Teachers should educate students on the consequences of conflict and violence, fostering a shared understanding of the importance of lasting peace and empowering children to advocate for it.
“Teachers should also encourage students to actively contribute to peace-building initiatives through community service projects and peace education programs, promoting individual actions and the power of positive impact,” she said.
She further explained that education begins at home, with parents providing all the fundamental information.
“As educators, I believe that learning begins at home, with parents providing the child with basic information before formal education.
“As educators, it is our responsibility to support students in becoming peacemakers as well as to prepare them for successful careers. Without peace, it is impossible for us to live in harmony with one another,” Neyleen added.