Templates for Peace: A Handbook on Multiculturalism and Non-Violence

 –  A Consultation with Educators

26th JUNE 2014, New Delhi

As part of the Hum Kadam: Education for Peace initiative, a Consultation was held with school educators in order to get inputs and comments from them on a forthcoming handbook Templates for Peace: Multiculturalism and Non-Violence. The handbook is being published by WISCOMP and is designed for use at the high school level. It owes its genesis to the trainings that WISCOMP organized in Delhi and Srinagar over the two years (between 2012-14) as part of the Hum Kadam: Education for Peace initiative.

The Consultation was organized to get inputs and comments on the handbook from 20 expert ‘end users’ from schools in NCR and Kashmir who are partners in the Hum Kadam initiative. WISCOMP was not only keen to get feedback on the themes, age appropriateness of the activities, time allocated and the format of achieving the objectives but also some more fundamental concerns about the hurdles that could be anticipated in using / adopting the material at the schools. In order to optimize the limited time with the participants during the Consultation a list of questions for consideration was circulated in advance for assessing the material. The feedback from the educators from this consultation was used to refine the handbook and add new material.

Aas Pass ki Khoj: Methodologies for Heritage Education – A Workshop

25th– 26th AUGUST 2014, Srinagar

Two day-long workshops titled Aas Pass ki Khoj: Methodologies for Heritage Education were organized as part of the Hum Kadam: Education for Peace Initiative with a view to provide educators space for discussing issues of diversity and difference. These introductory workshops were a first-of-a-kind and aimed to offer an alternative perspective to the school teachers who are engaged in teaching social sciences and literature.

53 participants attended the workshop at the two venues – Government College of Education, Srinagar and Delhi Public School, Srinagar. The participants were encouraged to know the importance and the various methods of heritage conservation so as to inculcate in the younger generation a sense of ownership and respect for their heritage.

The workshops drew on the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) 2005 that has served as a guide for evolving a national system of education to realize the democratic vision enshrined in the Indian Constitution. It sought to bring in an integrated approach to teaching about heritage, which involves weaving heritage education into the curriculum instead of seeing heritage conservation as an extracurricular activity.

The Role of Media in Conflict and Peace: Exploring Alternatives

28th –30th DECEMBER 2014, New Delhi

The WISCOMP workshop titled The Role of Media in Conflict and Peace: Exploring Alternatives aimed to offer an alternative perspective to journalistic practice with a focus on sensitive, responsible and reliable reporting. 34 participants were drawn from the Journalism and Mass Communication departments of universities and colleges in Delhi and Srinagar that are partnering with WISCOMP in its Hum Kadam initiative. Through the workshop the aspiring journalists were motivated to communicate issues, problems and stories set within a conflict context in such a manner that it opened up spaces for conflict resolution and transformation.

The program entailed the exploration of specific themes that were connected to media ecology and ethical issues that professional journalists encounter in the field. the workshop sessions included – Digital Story-telling, Peace Journalism, New Media, Oral Histories, and Corporatization of Media, among others.

The participants acknowledged that in their professional training at the universities they had not been exposed to the ideas they learnt at the workshop. When asked to give their feedback on the most useful learning from the workshop there was a collective view that itwas essential to foster peace though journalism and learn how to report about a conflict by exploring and acknowledging different perspectives and respecting alternate truths.