Select schools in Uganda have been chosen to implement a curriculum which, in a complement to promoting academic excellence, helps to cultivate peace and community building skills. The Global Peace Foundation Uganda has been implementing the Character and Creativity Initiatives (CCI) towards this end.
These schools have begun to demonstrate a high level of innovation, entrepreneurship, and teamwork as well as a culture of peace in the school and wider community. Parents and community members have been key contributors to this school-wide transformation, pointing to the importance of the school-home-community connection in raising the whole child.
Participants including administration, staff, teachers, students and parents CCI schools have reported positive outcomes related to this inclusive, ethical framework and its corresponding CCI activities and programs.
A key practice of CCI actively involves parents as well as Muslim and Christian leaders to guide teachers on how to integrate the values of respect, dialogue, reconciliation, teamwork and unity beyond religious and cultural boundaries in the classroom and the school in general.
To reinforce these lessons, GPF actively engages students of different religious and cultural backgrounds to work and interact with one another in service to the community. This has helped to transform the culture not only in the schools but also in the students’ homes. When students of diverse backgrounds work together for projects such as community cleans-ups, tree planting, support work for orphans, they model desirable attitudes and behaviors for those they serve; they not only cultivate leadership skills but also naturally developing a culture of care and service among students, families and the community.
CCI demonstration schools have also embraced the idea of interfaith prayers, calling for unity in diversity, peace and academic excellence. The schools also invite faith and cultural religious leaders to jointly work to nurture good character among students and the community at large. This strengthens awareness of and commitment to the vision of One Family under God and motivates students to think of character and creativity as part of a “whole person education” even beyond the schoolyard.
Parents of students are invited to participate and observe their children during School Visitation Days, which has helped to invite higher parent participation in schools. This, in turn, has shown to help to make more accurate assessments and evaluations to tailor learning and engagement in ways that improve discipline, academic performance and create effective solutions to a student’s unique challenges.
This practice takes on the idea that in educating for a world of One Family Under God, individual families must be engaged to become the basis for peace and development of every individual. Parents and teachers jointly work together to educate the “whole person” through investing resources in CCI best practices.
These are just some of the best practices from the Uganda CCI schools. How might you bring character and creativity to your own community?
The original post appears on Global Peace Foundation. Global Peace Foundation is an international non-sectarian, non-partisan, nonprofit organization, which promotes an innovative, values-based approach to peacebuilding, guided by the vision of One Family under God. GPF engages and organizes a global network of public and private-sector partners who develop community, national, and regional peace building models as the foundation for ethical and cohesive societies. Dr. Hyun Jin Preston Moon is founder and chairman of the Global Peace Foundation.