Lahore (Fides Service) -Education to dialogue and peace for youth is the target of a programme for secondary and high school pupils launched by the Catholic Bishops’ Commission for Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue, to instil in children the values of social harmony and reconciliation from the beginning of their education.
The initiative was presented recently in Lahore, in the presence of civil, political and religious authorities, Christian and Muslim, to an audience of more than 200 school pupils and school teachers. The participants agreed that the teaching of these values in school should be included in the regular school syllabus so that the children will be good and effective citizens for the future and for the benefit of the whole country.
“If young people are taught to live in peace they will lead a prosperous and peaceful life. Without peace there can be neither development nor prosperity ”, chief guest Dr Naseem Hassan Shah, chief justice of Pakistan Supreme Court told those present, recalling that in Pakistan’s constitution there is no discrimination on the basis of creed, religion or race.
The children highlighted in their speeches the value of love and respect for everyone at school, at home and in social life. One of their representatives said: “If we work in collaboration today with our classmates we will carry this torch of peace in the years to come.” They vowed to work to promote collaboration, harmony, tolerance and respect among people of all religions in Pakistan.
Fr. Francis Nadeem, Executive Secretary of the Commission for Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue, thanked the guests, teachers and children who came from various different private schools and he said “it is the responsibility of everyone to promote peace education among children. It is a duty of every government to adopt policies which promote social harmony, brotherhood, equality, justice and respect for every individual. “Children who have been educated to peace will give good example to others and become ambassadors of peace and tolerance helping to build a society of peace and prosperity. Father Nadeem said that peace education should be part of the national school syllabus so that from an early age children will learn the value of brotherhood. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 4/5/2004 lines 34 words 348)