EFP Integration in the Education System of Bosnia and Herzegovina

EFP-Balkans, in collaboration with the OSCE Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, has been able to secure a 2.5 year grant from the Government of Norway for the period from July 2008-December 2011. This multi-year project is designed to ensure that the Education for Peace program, which has been developed and implemented in Bosnia and Herzegovina over the last 10 years in 112 school communities, will be formally integrated in the education system of Bosnia and Herzegovina and embedded into all subjects of the curriculum and all aspects of school life in all 2200+ BiH primary and secondary schools.

The Education for Peace program is a cross-curricular, process-oriented, whole school, interactive teaching and learning methodology that systematically addresses the main requirements for building cultures of peace, healing, and excellence in the school communities.

Over the course of the past decade, the program has received enthusiastic and ongoing endorsement from many BiH education authorities and given full support by the 13 Ministries of Education in that country. Likewise, all nine (9) BiH Pedagogical Institutes, responsible for in-service training of the approximately 110,000 teachers of primary and secondary schools, have lent their full support to the EFP Programs. Since 2008, EFP-Balkans along with its parent institution, EFP-International, has engaged all the staff of advisors, inspectors and administrators of these Pedagogical Institutes in a series of advanced training seminars in the concepts and methodologies of Education for peace and review of the comprehensive EFP Curriculum, a process which will continue until the end of current phase in 2012. The main objective is formal integration of the EFP program in all BiH schools, a task that will begin in September 2010. It should be noted that the unanimous and voluntary support for EFP by all BiH Ministries of Education and Pedagogical Institutes, and their coordinated involvement in the introduction of EFP concepts into their respective school curricula, are both unique and, to our knowledge, have no parallel for any similar program since the war.

The current 30-month phase will ensure the completion of the work of formal integration of EFP into the education curricula of all parts of BiH. It includes building the pre-service and in-service competencies of all BiH educational institutions through crucial training of all staff of senior advisors from the BiH Pedagogical Institutes and selected pre-service teacher trainers within most, probably all, BiH Universities. The project links the classroom to the community in a spirit of unity in diversity and inter-ethnic harmony, and links both to the in-service and pre-service institutions which train and support present and future teachers. This relationship will ensure that Education for Peace will become a permanent feature of the education landscape in BiH. In brief:

“This invaluable project triggers the desire amongst the participants to become authentic peace-makers, and precisely provides them with the necessary tools to achieve this goal.”

—Claude Kieffer, Director, Education Dept.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (BiH Mission)