Peace Education

…I have changed very much and I felt it when I was still participating in the classes-my character and way of thinking changed. Previously I used to “label” people a lot and provoke conflicts out of nothing, but now I don’t do tha anymore. In my opinion acquired knowledge is very important, especially in terms of makeing proper decisions and helping other people, should it be necessary. Before that peace was not very important to me. Then I realized that there is nothing more important in this world than peace…”, – Angelika Simonyan, School #2

Peace Education Centres in Schools (2002-2011)

peace education centreThe aim of the peace education project was to train students and teachers in managing conflict situations and creating peaceful learning environments in their schools.

School N20 in Gyumri was the first school where a Peace Education Center (PEC) was established in 2002. In the PEC, outstanding students aged 13-15 come together and learn about peace building. Moreover, they gain practical skills of conflict management and discuss non-violent solutions for various conflict situations.

In 2007, PECs were established in 16 schools in the Shirak region, where weekly trainings were being held. Aside from gaining peace building and conflict management skills, PEC members also have the opportunity to debate and discuss different conflicts, organise events, develop leadership and communication skills.


Fantastic… I will never forget the Peace Education Center. Each Thursday I was looking forward to our lessons. Unlike usual classes, we felt more comfortable and interacted only with kind and peaceful persons, Yeranuhi Nahapetyan, school N20

Activities of the Peace Education Centres

photo-1PECs member students very often came up with unique ideas and did not hesitate to bring them to life. They found pen pals from foreign countries, organised peace months, a peace exhibition, celebrated the international peace day at the UN representation in Armenia. A series of “Peace Bridges” newsletter were published to summarise PEC activities and reporting on important events. Through “Peace Bridges”, the PEC activities reached a broader public in Armenia and abroad.

Another interesting practice among PEC members has been peer-to-peer education. This approach allowed them to learn with and from each other and proved to be very effective for young people. PEC members visited different schools and organised peer-to-peer sessions for their colleagues.

PEC activities involved parents and school vice/principles, given their important roles when it comes to conflict management among students.

Peace Education Center at the Gyumri State Pedagogical Institute

WFD together with the Pedagogical Institute designed and developed a Peace Education Centre based at the Institute, where future teachers could take an optional module on peace building and conflict management skills. This was seen as a contribution towards their future work in schools. Moreover, through peer-to-peer work, participants spread these skills to other students at the Institute.

… I always try to share my conflict resolution skills with both my colleagues and my acquaintances. I keep telling them to listen calmly, try to understand what caused the conflict and not use offending words and make the situation even more complicated. Even at home, when my parents are arguing about something, I tell them what I have learned during the peace education classes — I tell them to listen to each other calmly, and not raise their voices. Sometimes my advice helps…, Hasmik Hovhannisyan, second year student at Gyumri State Pedagogical Institute.

WFD has always kept parents involved in the PEC activities and therefore trainings were organised for more than 3,500 parents and teachers. These joint activities contributed also to improving the relations between parents, teachers and students. They carried the message of peace, respect and unity.

It was interesting to observe how skillful the students were – they were leading the class freely and without any hesitation. Performed conflicts quickly found suitable resolutions thanks to students’ active involvement. They expressed very interesting opinions and suggestions. The message students were trying to send was that in any conflict situation important is the ability to listen and not offend the counterpart with an inappropriate behaviour. The project itself and similar classes are extremely educational and very up-to-date especially for our young generation, A. Julhakyan, teacher, 11th grade class consular after attending a peer to peer session organized by her students.