A consultative dialogue was organized to garner feedback on a policy paper and seek inputs on charting the future course of its peacebuilding work in Jammu and Kashmir. The Policy Paper on Education for Peace in Jammu and Kashmir (authored by Dr. Sumona DasGupta) was premised over a three-year period (2012–15) – WISCOMP’s Education for Peace initiative (titled Hum Kadam).
The Policy Paper was prepared with a view to build on the learnings from this initiative and to explore a conceptual vocabulary and possible components of Education for Peace in Jammu and Kashmir, which has been the epicentre of a violent and protracted conflict since 1989. It also puts forward some considerations for policymakers which could be of use to those who frame curriculum at the national and state levels as well as to the community of peacebuilders who have taken steps to introduce Education for Peace in schools and colleges of Jammu and Kashmir.
Informed by the NCERT(National Council for Educational Research and Training) Position Paper on Education for Peace, the National Curriculum Framework of 2005, the educational content produced by the Jammu and Kashmir State Board of School Education, and first-hand interviews conducted with students and teachers in the Kashmir Valley in December 2014, the Paper calls for a new context-specific understanding of Education for Peace without which the term stands in the danger of being hollowed out. It also flags the link between the vision of Education for Peace in Jammu and Kashmir and the larger educational challenges of access, quality, equity and inclusion in the state.
The Consultative Dialogue brought together senior professionals from academia, government, civil society and the education sector to deliberate on, and provide inputs to, the WISCOMP Policy Paper on Education for Peace in Jammu and Kashmir. The Dialogue was a collective exploration of what could constitute educating for peace in Jammu and Kashmir. It provided a space for confluence where diverse learnings and experiences came together to strengthen the goal of the WISCOMP Policy Paper.