Entries marked "Schools as zones of peace"

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As strikes grip Nepal, children demonstrate against efforts to close schools

© UNCEF Nepal/2012 An estimated 250 children participated in a demonstration in Biratnagar, eastern Nepal, calling for their right to an education to be protected.

By Megh Raj Ale and Rupa Joshi

BIRATNAGAR, Nepal, 13 June 2012 – Last month about 250 children in their school uniforms marched noisily around the central market in Biratnagar, in eastern Nepal,  behind a banner proclaiming ‘Allow us to study’.

They shouted slogans, rang bells, blew whistles and clanged together steel utensils, and carried signs reading ‘Let schools remain as Zones of Peace’, ‘We are not just the future, we are today’, and ‘Search for alternatives to closures’.

The children, part of the Network of Working Children’s Clubs of Morang District and Biratnagar Municipality, were protesting efforts to close schools during ‘bandas’ –political strikes that have shut down roads and businesses around the country as groups try to influence the development of a new national Constitution.

“The political parties and groups who have called for these bandas have been toying with our future by not allowing us to attend school,” said 12-year-old Niraj Malla, Assistant Secretary of the Working Children’s Clubs Municipal Coordination Committee. “And our parents have also not been able to work and earn a living due to these closures.”

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UNICEF collects evidence to strengthen role of education in peacebuilding

© UNICEF Nepal/2011
A case study on Nepal is part of the UNICEF research project on Education and Peacebuilding in Post-Conflict Contexts. Other case studies include Lebanon and Sierra Leone.

By Shimali Senanayake

NEW YORK, United States, 7 December 2011 – Education can play a key part in the prevention and transformation of violent conflicts. In an effort to investigate what role UNICEF can play to realize this mission, a team of researchers presented their global findings at a brown-bag discussion on Friday, titled “Education and Peacebuilding in Conflict-Affected Contexts.”

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