BIS Peace Education at Don Bosco, Borivli

Peace Education at Don Bosco, Borivli.

By Mrs. Joelinda D’silva for BISMumbai

Don Bosco Borivali was privileged to host the Peace Seminar in its premises .The Peace Seminar was held in the newly inaugurated school building’s Audio Visual Hall. The programme began with

On Saturday, August 26, 2023, at Don Bosco Borivli , an engaging session on ‘Peace Education’ was conducted by Father Peter Gonsalves for educators hailing from Don Bosco schools in Mumbai. This session was attended by a group of 65 enthusiastic teachers.

The primary objective of the session was to shed light on the imperative need for peace in a society grappling with polarization, divisive tendencies, and discrimination. Additionally, it aimed to acquaint teachers with Father Gonsalves’ ‘Exercises in Peace Education,’ equipping them with the tools to nurture a culture of peace.

The event commenced with a warm welcome from the Principal Father Flovi D’Souza along with 65 enthusiastic teachers of the Don Bosco family. Then Father Flovi introduced Father Peter Gonsalves by telling us about Father Gonsalves And his life’s journey till date, like Father was very clear of what he wanted to do in life. Father is a great and a multi talented personality.

Father Rector also joined in and spoke a few words on the behalf of the management and he too welcomed Father Gonsalves , Father Rector also told us an incident about Ahmednagar..

During the morning sessions, Father Gonsalves started the session by giving us a pre test and post test survey form to fill in. We further continued with a beautiful original version of the hymn ,‘God still loves the world ‘ composed by Fr Peter himself .All the teachers joined in singing the hymn. Then Father Gonsalves explained about humanity. Then father delved into various forms of peace, including personal, socio-political, and ecological dimensions. He spoke about Mahatma  Gandhi briefly and He touched upon the concept of peace in religious contexts and explored Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, underlining how unmet basic needs can contribute to conflicts and violence.

Then he continued with a brief introduction on the main points of what the schedule for the day would be like he started by explaining

  1. What is peace?

The Sub topics of this unit included

  1. personal peace
  2. emotional peace
  3. mental peace
  4. spiritual peace , example of Gandhiji were given
  5. social political peace
  6. ecological peace
  7. environmental peace father gave us an example of a couple sitting on the rocks and suddenly they disappear
  8. waste management, a beautiful incident from Ahmednagar with the boarders how to keep the surrounding clean. He then moved on to
  9. What’s the common sense understanding of peace and
  10. What’s Religious notions
  11. Psychological
  12. a case study

.

In the subsequent session, Father Gonsalves elaborated on the diverse peace education initiatives and emphasized the significance of experiential learning as the primary method for instilling values, attitudes, perceptions, skills, and behavioural changes. A lively discussion on the topic of bullying ensued, followed by an introduction to Johan Galtung’s perspective on peace. Johan Galtung is notable for establishing the first academic department of Peace Research in 1959. Reflecting on the ‘bullying’ theme,. Father Gonsalves provided valuable insights into various forms of bullying, including physical, verbal, social, and cyberbullying, and their far-reaching impacts. He emphasized that peace education offers solutions to many unresolved questions.”

The day concluded with teachers from all the three institutions convening separately to discuss the implementation of strategies proposed by Father Gonsalves and the effective utilization of the ‘Exercises for Peace Education’ manual. Father Flovi D’Souza thanked father Peter Gonsalves for taking his time out and having the session for all of us. Ms.  Cordelia Lewis teacher of borivli on behalf of the management and the Don Bosco faculty expressed her gratitude to Father Peter Gonsalves for his practical approach and insightful sessions. She also added, “The Peace Education session was highly informative. The topics covered in the manual align well with the age group we work with, and Father Gonsalves dedicated significant effort to elucidating the book’s content and its practical applications.”

In a world marked by global violence, including within India, leading to tragic loss of lives, there is an underlying sense of sorrow. Education plays a pivotal role in moulding the young minds that represent the future of our society. Father Gonsalves’ teachings will undoubtedly inspire teachers to sow the seeds of harmony in the hearts and minds of their students.

 

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