Politicians joined academics and community and business leaders at Stormont on Wednesday 20 September to discuss how education can contribute to building the peace and uniting the Northern Ireland community.
Guests at a seminar hosted by the IEF heard from Professor Alan Smith, UNESCO Chair in Education at UU, on “The role of education in post-conflict society” before being invited to consider and debate the issues raised.
The event, which forms part of Community Relations and Cultural Awareness Week 2017, was chaired by Peter Osborne, Chair of the Community Relations Council and kindly sponsored by Chris Lyttle.
Professor Smith’s presentation drew on the UNICEF Education and Peacebuilding programme, which uses the “4Rs” to explore how education might contribute to building sustainable and peaceful post-conflict societies. The 4Rs are Redistribution, Recognition, Representation and Reconciliation and the framework uses these as a way of raising questions about the way an education system is functioning.
Professor Tony Gallagher of Queen’s University Belfast joined Alan to reflect on the key themes of education in divided societies.
The event was also attended by education spokespersons from five political parties (Peter Weir, Rosemary Barton, Clare Bailey, Karen Mullan and Kellie Armstrong).
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