The overall goal of the student-led Curriculum Development project is to contribute to mainstreaming peace and human rights in educational practices in West African countries.
In the framework of the activities related to its Learning to Live Together (LTLT) programme, UNESCO Dakar partnered with the Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar (UCAD) in Senegal and Teachers College, Columbia University in the USA to promote human rights education (HRE) and Learning to Live Together (LTLT) in West Africa through a student-led Curriculum Development project.
In the midst of rising disparities, instability, environmental degradation, and all forms of inequality and injustice, education has been called up to put more emphasis on the importance of Learning to Live Together (LTLT), beyond teaching just cognitive knowledge and skills. Learning should encompass values such as peace, non-discrimination, equality, justice, non-violence, tolerance, and respect for human dignity. Quality education based on a human rights approach means that rights are embedded throughout the whole education system and in all learning environments.
UNESCO’s work on LTLT is being driven and strengthened by the Education 2030 Framework for Action, notably in the pursuit of Target 4.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
There is growing interest in collaboration in the area of HRE and LTLT within and across regions to address the common challenges that the world is facing. In this context, UNESCO Dakar has supported the partnership between Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar (UCAD) in Senegal and Teachers College, Columbia University in the USA to promote context-relevant peace and human rights education. The curriculum was prepared by Masters and Doctoral students of the Human Rights in Africa class at Teachers College (TC) with the inputs and feedback provided by academic and civil society networks of UCAD and UNESCO Dakar.
The curricula aim to equip learners with knowledge about human rights and critical thinking, to nurture a sense of solidarity and respect for differences and diversity, and to enable them to act responsibly for a more peaceful and sustainable world:
- An activism-oriented curriculum on how to utilize the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on the daily life with reference to African-specific tools, such as the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights;
- A conflict prevention and management curriculum using sports as a tool to learn about teamwork and cooperation;
- Preventing violent extremism (PVE) curriculum to equip students with the skills to identify extremist behaviors and protect themselves from joining such groups;
- A gender, peace and development curriculum to empower young women to stand up to gender-based oppression; and
- A sexual minority and human rights curriculum to help learners understand the importance of tolerance and respect. The curricula also include useful resources, such as the database on human rights organizations in the region, images, stories and videos, quizzes and self-assessment tools, which help learners understand and apply the principles of human rights in different contexts.
The curricula also include useful resources, such as the database on human rights organizations in the region, images, stories and videos, quizzes and assessment tools, which help learners understand and apply the principles of human rights in different contexts.
The overall goal of this project is to contribute to mainstreaming peace and human rights in educational practices in West African countries. Based on the identification of gaps and issues with regard to integration of peace and human rights education in their education policies, programmes and practices in West Africa, the project provides user-friendly materials for schools and out-of-school children and youths and other targeted groups.
The curricula are available at the TC Center for African Education Website as open educational resources. The ideas and opinions expressed in the curricula are those of the authors; they are not necessarily those of UNESCO and do not commit the Organization.