Education stakeholders have hailed the establishment of Amani Clubs in schools for their success in promoting peaceful co-existence of students both at school and in the larger society.
The Clubs initiated by the Ministry of Education in partnership with National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) aims to promote appreciation of diversity, peaceful co-existence and dispute resolution mechanisms among students.
According to the Clubs National Organizing Secretary, Kennedy Kunani, the club’s peace missions in schools have instilled positive culture values and personal responsibility.
Speaking in Naivasha during a student peace retreat, Kunani said the clubs are currently established in over 500 schools in the country and are targeting to have all schools on board by 2025.
Kunani said the clubs are a suitable tool for addressing negative ethnic tendencies at an early age by providing young people with a platform to engage and spearhead peace related initiatives.
He said Amani club members are expected to influence their fellow youth, their communities and their parents thus causing a ripple effect in the promotion of national cohesion and integration.
This comes as the Ministry of Education announced closure of schools to pave way for upcoming August general elections with students who have benefited from these peace initiatives tasked to carry their messaging in their regions.
Kunani said the NCIC has been conducting capacity building workshops for teachers to enhance understanding of the guidelines and enable them to establish the clubs in their respective institutions.
He however called on the Ministry to take charge of the clubs through funding the peace programs in schools that help address indiscipline, intolerance and non-violence incidents. At the same time, he called on politicians to conduct their campaigns peacefully and put the country’s interests beyond theirs.
According to Festus Maingi, a teacher and club patron, there is a need to instill a culture of responsible behavior on peaceful co-existence at an early age.
This, he said, will ensure the youths become peace ambassadors in the future which is a key pillar towards realizing economic, political and social developments in the country.
According to Joe Mulwa, a student and beneficiary from Machakos school, the clubs have helped the students appreciate the need and role of peace in nation building.
Mulwa said the clubs have also helped students live peacefully, ensuring continuous learning while scaling down indiscipline incidences.
By Erastus Gichohi