Peace Promoting Schools (PPS) addresses the issue of discipline in schools. As every member of the school community (learners, parents, school staff) needs to be able to learn to deal with conflict effectively and to build solid relationships, an holistic approach has been adopted which includes all of these groups.
Peace Promoting Schools has two objectives:
- To encourage schools to implement Peace Education as an essential part of their curriculum
- To recognise and reward participating schools for striving to create a more harmonious educational environment for their teachers and learners
To encourage schools to implement peace projects, Peace Promoting Schools has developed and piloted facilitator guides and resources that teachers can use and to ease the burden of preparation. Schools can also select the level of their involvement and can strive to achieve a Bronze, Silver, or Gold level status for the implementation of one, two, or three of the following projects:
- Building Peaceful Classrooms - a classroom management program for teachers exploring positive approaches to discipline
- Parental Skills (Parenting Heart to Heart) - a program facilitated by teachers for parents in the school community
- Peer Mediation - a program directed at learners on how to deal with conflict effectively
- Peace Clubs - a program directed at learners, which encourages the fostering of a culture of peace and involvement in service to the community
- Peace Lessons - a series of CAPS-aligned lesson plans linked to Life Skills and English First Additional Language
- Seeds of Compassion - a classroom intervention program for Foundation Phase, which aims to develop compassion and improve emotional intelligence
- School Safety - a program linked to safety requirements with which schools need to comply
To recognize and reward schools for implementation of peace projects, teachers are mentored and a series of ceremonies are held annually. Two fun Mini Award ceremonies are held during the 1st and 2nd terms of the school year to encourage schools to work consistently on the project. A formal Certificate Ceremony is held in November each year to acknowledge the schools that have completed their projects. The peace educators, their principals, the Port Elizabeth District Director and the General Manager of GM South Africa Foundation attend this prestigious function.
The government has been very supportive: government officials have dedicated some of their work hours to endorsing the programs and providing input on the development and refinement of all materials used.
By implementing peace projects on an annual basis, the Peace Promoting Schools Project aims to empower schools and teachers to gradually build a community of young adults with the skills to resolve conflict peacefully, think critically, and function effectively in groups.
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CEI approaches in action
Peace Promoting Schools provides free material, support and training programs to learners, educators and parents in under-resourced schools. The government funds officials' time on task, support in terms of endorsing the programs in the schools and input on the development and refinement of materials used. The schools do not pay anything apart from the supply of catering for some of the programs, for example, parenting workshops.
Peace Promoting Schools provides support and training programs to learners, educators, and parents in under-resourced schools in South Africa.
ExpansionThis program has been replicated and scaled up.
- Peer mediation has been introduced to 14 Districts in the Gauteng Department of Education and to schools in the Cradock District of the Eastern Cape.
- The Parental Skills program has been introduced to Circuit 2, Western Cape Education Department, and to schools in the Cradock District, as well as to community organizations in Port Elizabeth.
- Currently we have 29 schools participating in the Peace Promoting Schools program in the Port Elizabeth District. Orientation workshops for each program are held at the beginning of the year and teachers are supported through mentoring and further training workshops (once or twice a term) during the year.
- When replicating the programs in other parts of the country, two days of training and material is offered.
PPS plans to share the guides and resources of the Peace Promoting Schools project nationally and via electronic media.
Monitoring & Evaluation
PPS uses the following monitoring mechanisms to assess its projects:
- Cluster meetings
- On-site observations
- Portfolios of evidence