Peace Education Around the World: Strategies for Conflict and Post-Conflict Education for Peace

By Sylvestre Nzahabwanayo




It is a privilege and honor to be part of this discussion around peace education. In my  presentation, a focus will be laid on (i) definition(s), scope and methodologies of peace education  with a view to highlight how these considerations play out in the Rwandan context; (ii) the  balance/tension between the universalism of much mainstream thinking on peace and the need  for cultural specificity where I will argue for postcolonial peace education; and (iii) challenges  involved in peace education in Rwanda. In this presentation, I draw from a number of sources.  These include my teaching of the module “Citizenship and Transformative Education” – a  compulsory module for all year one students at the University of Rwanda (UR); my involvement  as Co-Investigator in the Project “Mobile Arts for Peace: Informing the National Curriculum and  Youth Policy in Kyrgyzstan, Rwanda, Indonesia and Nepal”, funded by Arts and Humanities  Research Council (AHRC – UK); my role as Co-Investigator in the Project “Research-led peace  education as a crisis prevention in Central Africa Republic”, funded by the British Academy; my  role as Principal Investigator for the Project “Building cultures of peace in Rwandan schools”,  funded by Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF), UK Research Innovation Fund (UKRI); and the  review of the academic literature.  

  1. Definition, scope and methodologies of peace education  

Different conceptualizations of violence lead to varied ways of characterizing peace and peace  education. If we restrict oursleves to describe peace simply with the lens of absence of physical  violence, a view will be held that peace education has to aim for establishing negative peace. But  if we conceive peace more broadly and delineate its contours in the form of structural and  symbolic violence, then a more enriched view of peace education is achieved where peace  education is meant to establish positive peace. In what follows, I unpack this argument in a more even handed manner.  

Peace education for negative peace: human rights education, international education, and  conflict resolution  

The academic literature around peace education shows that varied ways of describing peace and  peace education are premissed on different forms of violence. Direct violence involves the immediate relationship between the perpetrator and the victim of violence, and most of the time  it takes the form of physical violence. Armed conflict, genocide, terrorism are examples of direct  violence (Chaudhuri, 2015; Galtung, 1969; Galtung, 1990; Harris, 2004).  

Structural violence, on the other hand, does not need the direct relationship between the  perpetrator and the victim of violence. It is built into social, economic, and political structures at  the local, national, regional and global levels. It chiefly involves the unequal distribution of  resources and opportunities and prevents people from actualizing their potentials. In this regard,  it is synonymous with social injustice (Sen, 1999; Snauwaert, 2011). Unequal access to and unfair  distribution of services such as education, health, natural resources (land) are examples of  structural violence (Chaudhuri, 2015; Galtung, 1969; Galtung, 1990; Harris, 2004; Kester &  Cremin, 2017). The third category is cultural violence which refers to norms, values, self perceptions and affiliations, attitudes, beliefs and ideologies that orchestrate and perpetuate  direct and structural violence. Cultural violence can happen for instance through religion,  ideology and science (Galtung, 1990).  

According to Galtung (1990) and Chaudhuri (2015), the three types of violence are inextricably  connected and mutually reinforcing. For instance, direct violence may result from structural  violence. It may erupt in the form of resistance on behalf of those who are oppressed. On the  other hand, the privileged group may also resort to direct violence as a way of maintaining its  hegemony and dominant position. In addition, direct and structural violence are both rooted in  ideologies and beliefs that propel people to enforce physical harm or fuel social injustice or  discrimination. Thus, between the three forms of violence, there is a relationship of  interdependence and mutual support.  

It is only after grappling with different forms of violence that the pathway to understand peace  and peace education is paved. This orientation suggests that in order to curtail direct violence  negative peace is needed (Chaudhuri, 2015; Galtung, 1969; Galtung, 1990; Harris, 2004; Kester &  Cremin, 2017). Negative peace refers to the absence of direct and physical violence in the form  of war, armed conflict, and terrorism. For achieving negative peace, there is a need to have in  place a kind of peace education towards negative peace. Here peace education is described as  human rights education (aimed at recognizing the claims individuals can make principally to the  state about how they should be treated), international education (geared towards peacekeeping  in and between nations), and conflict resolution (whose goal is peacemaking skills development)  (Harris, 2004).  

In the context of peace education as conducted in post-genocide Rwanda by government  institutions, educational systems, civil society organizations, faith-based orgaizations, it is  noticeable that the vast majority of peace education initiatives tend to focus on negative peace,  i.e. the absence of direct or physical violence. Although the 2003 Constitution as amended todate  calls for building a state committed to promote social justice and social welfare, and that there  are observable policies, programs and laws meant to fight discrimination in its different forms, there is a limited emphasis placed on positive peace in the form of structural approaches to  reconciliation, human rights education and a willingness to establish stable peace. Also, it is  noticeable that there is a tendency to conflate peace education and character education. Here a  view is held that change in youth and adult behaviors will necessarily result in peace (Novelli,  Lopes Cardozo, & Smith, 2015; Sayed & Novelli, 2016) – a view that requires much closer scrutiny.  This is the case, for instance, of peace education initiatives undertaken by the Aegis Trust whose  aim is to catalyse attitudinal and behavioural change, and thus awaken positive behaviour. The  same tendency is also apparent in broad peace education initiatives led by government  institutions (e.g. National Unity and Reconciliation Commission – NURC; the National Comission  for the fight against Genocide – Commission Nationale de Lutte contre le Genocide – CNLG;  National Itorero Commission – NIC). The Peace education conducted by these institutions place  an emphasis on values and taboos, unity and reconciliation, and genocide prevention. Echoing  some past studies (e.g. Doerrer, 2019; Galtung, 1969) I argue that the central aim and primary  contribution of peace education is/should be to address structural and cultural violence.  

Peace education for positive peace: Critical peace education  

Structural and cultural violence require a broader notion of peace beyond negative peace. They  call for positive peace, which posits the creation of social, economic, and political conditions that  foster justice, equality and well-being. Positive peace is achieved through a specific kind of peace  education beyond human rights education, international education, and conflict resolution. It  calls for critical peace education (Bajaj & Brantmeier, 2011; Freire, 1993; Hantzopoulos, 2011;  Kester & Cremin, 2017) where young people and adults are equipped with knowledge, skills,  values and attitudes necessary to identify various forms of injustices existing in society and work  towards their eradication. A number of studies argue that critical peace education offers a  constructive response to structural and cultural violence (Bajaj & Brantmeier, 2011; Brantmeier,  2013; Freire, 1993; Hantzopoulos, 2011; Kester & Booth, 2010; Snauwaert, 2011). This kind of  peace education is also described as developmental education (Harris, 2004).  

Brantmeier (2011) posits that there are five stages of critical peace education for teacher  education: raising consciousness (about oppression) through dialogue; imagining nonviolent  alternatives; providing specific modes of empowerment; transformative action; and reflection  and re-engagement. Simply put, critical peace education is informed by the critical pedagogy of  Paul Freire (2003). It is committed to the idea that education projects and scholarship should pay  attention to issues of structural inequalities and aim at cultivating a sense of transformative  agency to create new social, epistemic and political structures with a view to promote peace and  social justice (Bajaj, 2015).  

Looking at ways in which peace education is conducted in post-genocide Rwanda, it is apparent  that a very limited emphasis is placed on critical peace education orientation. I tend to believe  that not only does peace education aim to change learners and adult behaviors in a way that  achieves peace (e.g. peacemaking skills development, values education, character education), it also aims to teach young people and adults to identify and address structural forms of oppression  existing in society at all levels, i.e. socioeconomic, political and cultural. 

In terms of scope and methodologies, depending on the location where peace education is taking  place, it has been described as in-school and out-of-school peace education (Bar-Tal & Rosen,  2009). With regard to the in-school scheme, peace education can be a stand-alone subject or  embedded through some subjects like social studies, philosophy, and history. Peace education  may also permeate or inform all subjects. In Rwanda peace education permeates all the subjects  on the curriculum. Aegis Trust in collaboration with the Rwanda Basic Education Board (REB) have  developed a peace and values education program (PVE) with guides for teachers and model lessons plans which allow teachers to embed peace education in all subjects. In a recent data  collection that I conducted to evaluate the teaching of PVE in schools, it was noted that the cross cutting approach has some advantages and limitations. The advantage is that all teachers are  concerned to educate in peace education through the medium of their respective subjects.  Problems associated with this approach include the lack of time for some teachers to talk about  peace education because they are under pressure of completing the program. Also, some  teachers have not been trained to use PVE materials and in some schools PVE materials are non-existing or insufficient.  

Regarding content, the academic literature (e.g. Bar-Tal & Rosen, 2009) suggests two approaches  to peace education: indirect and direct approaches. The indirect peace education does not  directly address the conflict (i.e., its goals, historical course, costs, or the image of the rival).  Instead, it concerns itself with very general themes relevant to peace such as (i) reflective thinking  – questioning held beliefs including dominant assumptions; (ii) tolerance – a person’s or group’s  readiness to bear, to allow, and even hear opinions (thoughts or attitudes) that contradict his or  her own; (iii) ethno-empathy – the ability of a person or a group to experience what the other  ethnic group feels or thinks; and (iii) human rights, and conflict resolution. The direct model of  peace education addresses directly key issues and themes at the heart of the conflict. It deals  with themes such as conflict and peace (the essence of the conflict, reasons, stages,  consequences, and resolution methods), the peace process – various peace processes  undertaken; presentation of the rival; history of the conflict; and creation of new affect and  emotion – and the recognition that collective fear and hatred must be reduced and collective  hope, trust, and mutual acceptance must be actually fostered. In the context of post-genocide  Rwanda, several initiatives and programs address peace education but this is done implicitly. In  other words, there is no detailed engagement with the nature, history and consequences of the  conflict. 

  1. Striking the balance/tension between the universalism of much mainstream thinking on  peace and the need for cultural specificity: towards postcolonial peace education 

Postcolonial peace education constitutes a synergy between post-colonial theory and critical  peace education. Here post colonialism refers to periodicity but also to a mode of analysis. As an  analytical tool, it seeks to examine processes of knowledge production and their role in the  creation and perpetuation of neo-colonial violence and order (Williams, 2013).  

Postcolonial peace education is characterized by two features (Kurian & Kester, 2019; Zakharia,  2017; Zembylas, 2018). First, unlike critical peace education which concerns itself with  immediate, localized social injustices and positions the work of liberation in the mind of the  oppressed, postcolonial peace education perceives structural violence beyond the immediate  local context and challenges broader postcolonial structural violence, i.e. the violence posed by  colonialism despite its apparent end. Postcolonial peace education locates structural violence in  the world order deeply rooted in colonialism persistent in areas such as economics, politics,  social, and international relations. In other words, post-colonial peace education locates the work  of liberation in the dismantling of structures of lingering colonisation.  

Second, postcolonial peace education argues against a monolithic conception of peace education  where peace education is characterized as the absence of violence. It is a problematisation of a  universalized vision of peace and peace education. Postcolonial peace education recognises the  validity of other peace education theories and practices especially those from indigenous or  colonized people. Understood this way, there is no regulation, universalization, and standards of  what peace education ought to be (Zakharia, 2017).  

According to Kurian and Kester (2019), postcolonial peace education seeks to allow voices of the  Global South to inform theory and practice, thought and praxis in peace education. It argues  against the marginalization of peace approaches from or working in the Global South.  Postcolonial peace education is a way of addressing epistemic violence in peace education, i.e.  imposing western beliefs in peace education on colonized populations. In short, it is an invitation  to broaden peace education epistemology and praxis (Sandoval, 2016; Sumida Huaman, 2011;  Williams, 2016; Zakharia, 2017; Zembylas, 2018).  

Within the framework of post-colonial peace education, peace is conceptualized in terms of  recognition, acceptance of diverse cultural worldviews, epistemologies, and practices that are  conducive for peace. Here there is an invitation towards recognizing context-specific approaches  in peace education. Practically, this means that in designing peace education programs there is a  need to (i) draw from local peace education theories and practices; (ii) adapt practices to the  context in which they take place; and (iii) include beneficiaries and stakeholders in the design of  those efforts (Davies, 2004; Gittins, 2020; Salomon, 2011; Wessells, 2013). In other words, peace  education materials should be context-specific, better co-produced, co-created and not  parachuted in from other places. In this discussion, some of the questions to be considered  include: (i) What is the content to be delivered? (ii) What are the pedagogies suitable for peace education? In this regard, local peace education stakeholders must be included in the process of  deciding about priorities, content and approaches to peace education. These include public  institutions, NGOs, civil society organisations, and faith-based organisations.  

Two ideas from this reflection on post-colonial peace education are central to peace education  practices in Rwanda. First, peace education cannot overlook the important role played by the  world order in the creation and perpetuation of structural as well as cultural violence. In this  regard, neo-colonialism should feature on the content of peace education programs in Rwanda.  The second idea is that locally generated peace education initiatives and practices yield better  results than parachuted ones. In this regard, the contribution of home-grown knowledges and  practices to peace education should be highlighted. These include, for instance, Abunzi – mediation committees; parents’ evening forums [Umugoroba w’ababyeyi], Umuganda (community work), Umuganura (day of harvest), Girinka (get a cow), Umushyikirano (National  dialogue), Ndi umunyarwanda ( I am a Rwandan program), and Itorero. The point is that peace  education in post-genocide Rwanda might examine ways of using these locally inspired forums  to expressly address direct (physical), structural and cultural violence. In other words, the  question would be to examine ways in which home-grown knowledges and practices in peace  education can be used to address direct, structural and cultural forms of violence for the  promotion of a peaceful coexistence. 

  1. Challenges involved in implementing peace education in Rwanda  

In talking about challenges in peace education in Rwanda, I draw from the work I conducted in  the framework of a peace education project funded the British Academy in collaboration with  the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies – SOAS, King’s College London (UK).  

In conflict affected settings peace education does not go without difficulties, tensions and  contradictions. In the context of post-genocide Rwanda, some of these tensions are chiefly  related to the interpretation and teaching of history, the deconstruction and re-construction of  ethnic identities, the individual versus the collective memory, the prevalence of unexpressed and  unhealed wounds, and the temporality of peace education. In paragraphs to follow, these  contradictions are unpacked with great care.  

3.1. History interpretation and teaching  

The conflict that led to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi is deeply rooted in history. One of  the major tasks of peace education is to interrogate history by teaching both young and adult  generations the real account of the past in a way that fosters peace, reconciliation and social  cohesion. Teaching history in post-genocide Rwanda is an arduous task particularly because of  three major reasons: defining the content to teach and how to teach it; engaging with some  sensitive concepts; and the positionality of the history teacher. 

It is difficult to define the Rwandan history content to teach and how to teach it. The history of  Rwanda is mainly seen alongside three periods: the precolonial, colonial, and post-colonial era  including the genocide and after-genocide period. The interpretation of what these periods mean  especially in terms of unity of Rwandans is subject to debate. The academic literature shows that  there are serious contradictions on how people consider some parts of the Rwandan history. As  a matter of fact, in terms of the precolonial period, while some argue that the period was deeply  characterized by unity and social cohesion among Rwandans, others show that even before  colonialism there were inherent tensions within the ruling regime. Reference is made here to the  Rucunshu case (Watkins & Jessee, 2020). Another case in point is the 1994 genocide against Tutsi  whose narratives are as diverse as they are tellers. In the materials we collected there is evidence  suggesting that history teachers are faced with the difficult to teach some parts of the Rwandan history because of various interpretations. The excerpts below demonstrate these difficulties.  

Some teachers are afraid to talk about history (pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial as  well as independence period and genocide) in most cases because they do not have  knowledge about it, others are not convinced of what happened or what they are told to  teach. Still others feel ashamed to talk about some of those topics because of their  identities. We have developed a teacher guide but for some reasons it is not well used  and that becomes a challenge to REB. (MKR) 

Another challenge linked to Rwanda history teaching is the use of certain concepts especially  those related to ethnic identities (Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa). Caution in using some concepts is also  required when talking about the 1994 genocide where uttering some concepts might be seen as  genocide ideology. The current government is committed to promote an inclusive discourse of  citizenship chiefly anchored on Rwandanness at the expense of potentially dividing ethnic  affiliations. However, the history of Rwanda is deeply embedded with ethnic concepts to the  extent that a history teacher can hardly avoid them. In this context the caveat resides in striking  the balance between remaining faithful to historical facts and not compromising the  Rwandanness philosophy, i.e. Ndi umunyarwanda. Consider the following opinion.  

The other thing is about the use of certain concepts, and some of the teachers were hesitating to  use them. When you have history modules and people in charge of teaching them are afraid to  use some concepts in those modules, this is also a challenge. […] First, when it comes to talking  about ethnicity, let me say it well as we are in the research framework. When it comes to using  these concepts Hutus and Tutsis, teachers are afraid to use them. Second, some concepts are  frequently used during the genocide commemoration period, and when there are misused, they  may lead to the genocide ideology. There is some fear of using certain words because they may  be considered as genocide ideology. So, people rather avoid their use. (SNIC) 

The positionality of the history teacher is another challenge. What is at issue here is that some  teachers are reluctant to narrate or teach some parts of the Rwandan history because they might  have been affected by them in one way or another. Also, in some cases some teachers might be  holding an opinion different from and inconsistent with the public narrative. In such cases, the history teacher choses the route of avoiding those topics for the sake of protecting his/her positionality. 

If a teacher is from a family that participated in the killings during the genocide, he/she is  ashamed, afraid to engage in discussions related to genocide in classroom. When she/he is given  such a topic [genocide related topic] for discussions in class, it becomes a challenge for the teacher because whatever she or he teaches, students regard him/her as also a perpetrator. For a teacher  who survived the genocide, discussions of the genocide related topics reminds him/her of what  happened during the genocide. (MKT) 

This finding joins Buhigiro’s (2020, p. 28) who affirms that “the teaching of the genocide against  the Tutsi is not an easy task because the teacher has to be careful not only in the choice of the  methodology but also in selecting words to be used in a history class and taking into consideration  the Rwandan socio-political context.” In other words, even 24 years later teaching the genocide  against the Tutsi raises some concerns. The teacher is expected to bear in mind that the vast  majority of Rwandans are still under the hangover of genocide. Therefore, great caution must be  taken in choosing the teaching methods, words to be used and the topics to be covered and/or  avoided in public debates. These strategies put the teacher on a safe side, and the wellbeing of  both learners and society at large is not compromised. 

3.2. Deconstruction and re-negotiation of ethnic identities 

In an attempt to do away with ethnic cleavages that marked the recent past, Rwanda is  committed to an inclusive conception where ethnic identities have been replaced by the national  identity, i.e. Rwandanness. In peace education, it is almost unavoidable to talk about ethnic  identities considering the central role they have played in shaping the Rwandan history and  conflict. The current prohibition of using these concepts puts teachers (and other educationalists  more generally) in a difficult situation. As a matter of fact, in peace education some learners find  it difficult to square the nonexistence of ethnic identities (Hutu, Tutsi and Twa) with the appellation  of genocide as the ‘genocide against Tutsi.’ 

One of the sensitive topics is this concept of genocide and its consequences. But it is also about  ethnicity. For example, young people in any session we have had with government institutions,  this one question always comes up: if you say that we don’t have Tutsi and Hutu in Rwanda, and  we still have the “Genocide against Tutsi” in our constitution, how do you connect that? (GUC) 

Another tension exists between the public discourse (or official curriculum) and narratives  prevailing in private spaces. In the materials we collected, it was found that although the public  discourse is dominated by the national identity narrative (Ndi Umunyarwanda), private spaces  (e.g., families) transmit another narrative where ethnic identities and ideologies are deeply  recognized and transmitted from old to young generations. The argument here is that there is a  contradiction between the official curriculum and the hidden social curriculum which creates  confusion among learners in peace education. This situation suggests that although ethnic  identities have been deconstructed in the public space, they are being re-constructed in private  spaces and are unofficially shaping people’s interactions. 

3.3. Genocide: Individual versus collective/national memory  

Although the 1994 genocide against Tutsi was ubiquitous over the Rwandan territory and has  had a wide coverage across all corners of the country, people have experienced it in so many  different ways. The idea is that there is a noticeable heterogeneity in terms of people’s  experiences and affects. In peace education, it is critical to talk about various forms of violence  that characterized the past conflict. As mentioned previously, these forms include physical or  direct violence, structural violence and symbolic violence. In conflict affected societies, one of  the ways to avoid the recurrence of violence is to preserve memory of past events. In the context  of post-genocide Rwanda, what is at issue in peace education is to select which and whose memory to preserve in such a way that every victim of the genocide feels included and  represented. In the materials we collected, it was revealed that some individual memories are  ignored. In other words, the collective memory tends to silence individual ones. Findings from  the materials collected suggest that some forms of violence are talked about while others are  given little to no consideration. The non-recognition of some memories is likely to slow down  efforts towards unity and reconciliation.  

There is an official version of what happened but problems regarding genocide are like cultural  ones: each one stands on the side of what s/he experienced. When someone talks about  genocide, s/he refers to his/her killed father, his/her killed mother, his/her cows that were eaten,  and so on. Others also had experienced several other things. So, everyone considers genocide in  his/her is own sight. Thus, it is difficult to put together all those experiences. (AB) 

This finding corroborates other studies (e.g. King, 2010; Ndushabandi, 2015) which showed that  the current Rwandan leadership selectively highlights some memories of violence while others  are repressed and this is likely to hinder sustainable peace. The official memory is transmitted  through memorials (e.g. Kigali Genocide Memorial – KGM), Ingando re-education camps, and  schools. More generally, King (2010) classifies memories alongside four categories: Tutsi  recognized memories, somewhat recognized Hutu memories, unrecognized Hutu memories, and  unrecognized memories of ethnically mixed Rwandans. What is evident is that much work  remains to be done in terms of memorization.  

3.4. Prevalence of unhealed wounds 

The vast majority of Rwandans still bear the scars of the genocide despite the fact that 27 years  have elapsed after this tragedy. During our study, it was revealed that the prevalence of those  scars is due to limited safe spaces where various segments of Rwandans can meet and express  their wounds. Also, it was noted that actors in the healing process are themselves wounded and  we are experiencing a scenario where ‘medical doctors are at the same time patients’.  

The prevalence of unexpressed wounds has been recently highlighted by the Rwanda  Reconciliation Barometer (NURC, 2020). It was shown that 26.9% of Rwandans perceive that non healed wounds caused by genocide and divisive ideology constitute a threat to sustainable peace, unity and reconciliation. The commission (NURC, 2020, p. 174) recommended that safe spaces  be created to allow free expression of historical trauma and wounds. 

Actors involved in peace education be they public or civil society organizations should  create safe spaces (secure places) for dialogue and listening sessions in small groups.  Those spaces should be well structured for participants to feel comfortable and share  their wounds or suffering. [Les acteurs impliqués dans la consolidation de la paix, tant  publiques que ceux des organisations de la société civile, devraient créer des espaces sûrs  (lieux sécurisés) pour le dialogue et des séances d’écoute en petits groupes. Ces espaces  devraent être bien structurés pour que les gens se sentent confortables pour partager leurs  souffrances]. 

This wakeup call comes after realizing that existing social cohesion driven platforms (e.g. Ndi  Umunyarwanda sessions) had been diverted into forums for rushed apology and forgiveness  (NURC, 2021). 

3.5. Peace education and temporality  

At this juncture the puzzle is about stability and change in terms of content and approaches to  peace education. The question becomes whether peace education should restrict and confine  itself to genocide and other ethnic identity related problems or there is a room for considering  other issues that affect profoundly the lives of Rwandans and constitute a serious threat to the  social fabric. These threats to peace include for instance, family conflict, teenage pregnancy,  increasing cases of suicide and homicide, gender social norms and interpretations, the growing  unemployment, issues related to current expropriation and compensation instances. In the  materials we collected, other potential aspects to be considered in peace education were  highlighted. These include rule of law, human rights, catering for in and out-of-school children  with disabilities, sexual reproductive health education, non-violent communication, healing from  past trauma, resilience and adaptation, citizen participation in decision making processes, and  family decision making.  

Essentially what is at issue is to know whether it is healthy to entertain a one-size-fits-all content  and pedagogy of peace education. Is openness in content and form desirable in peace education?  In the context of Rwanda, the critical question is to establish what should remain and change in  peace education 27 years after the genocide. In the materials we collected it is apparent that  stability and homogeneity in peace education were brought into question. Consider the following  respondent’ opinion.  

I would say that people who are involved in peace education do not address issues of  diversity. You find out that men and women as well as youth are given same content or  we use same methodology which I think is not a good strategy. If we want to address  sensitive or difficult topics then we should address them depending on the category of people and their specific needs not only in peace education even in other fields, people  are taken as homogeneous. (MKT)  


In conclusion, tensions and contradictions discussed in this section call for a re-examination of  both content and approaches to peace education as it is conducted by various actors in post genocide Rwanda. Such a re-examination would involve all actors involved in peace education,  i.e. state and non-state actors. Also, a more coordinated effort across all peace education actors  would allow a thoughtful discussion of these tensions with a view to indicate the best way to  resolve them. 


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Dr. Sylvestre Nzahabwanayo is an Associate Professor in Philosophy of Education at the University of Rwanda, College of Education (UR-CE). He holds a Post-doctoral Certificate in Curriculum Studies obtained at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and a PhD in Philosophy of Education completed at the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa). His research interest is about citizenship education, peace and values education for young people in conflict-affected communities. Also, he has interest in de-colonizing education where he considers issues related to unpacking the relevance of indigenous knowledges, philosophies, languages, and practices as a way of addressing epistemic injustices. His PhD thesis is about Itorero, a revived non-formal citizenship education program for high school leavers in post-genocide Rwanda. Additionally, he has a strong background in Social Psychology with a focus on understanding people’s subjectivities using Q-Methodology.