Promoting Peace and Justice Through Literacy

Promoting Peace and Justice Through Literacy

Though the following article seems, originally, to talk about ‘A dozen reasons why literacy, basic education and effective teaching are essential and Just Acts’that primarily apply to  ‘American’ schools, the principles work as much in African and developing countries’ schools as in American schools. Enjoy reading it.


A Dozen Reasons Why
Literacy, Basic Education and Effective Teaching
are Essential and Just Acts

I)    Achieving Human Rights.  Education and Literacy are fundamental Human Rights (see The Universal
Declaration of Human Rights
, Article 26 – Education[1] where literacy is strongly implied by [2] and that
parents have a right to choose effective methods of teaching over others for their children [3]).

2)   Promoting Equality. Literacy and education promotes gender equality (a Millennium Development
 [MDG] and a goal of the Education for All initiative).

3)   Reducing Poverty.  Literacy and education are essential first steps of nearly all initiatives to reduce and
eliminate global poverty.

4)   Reducing Preventable Deaths.  Female literacy and education – reduce child and maternal mortality.

5)   Promotes Good Governance and Individual Freedoms.  Literacy and education makes tyrannical
forms of government less likely and good governance and the expression of individual freedoms more

6)   Fights the Oppression of Certain Peoples.  Literacy and education makes the oppression of certain
peoples less possible and less enduring while promoting the expression of individual freedoms more robust and

7)   Promotes Childhood Health.  Female literacy and education – improve child nutrition and health.

8)   Fosters the Management of Parenthood.  Female literacy and education – lower fertility rates.

9)   Protects Girls from Abuse, Exploitation and Sexually Transmitted Disease.  Female literacy
and education – protect girls from abuse, exploitation, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

10)  Reduces Inhumane Injustices in School.  The greatest form of preventable injustice in education is the
failure to prepare adequately a child for the subsequent grade and effective teaching technology removes this
barrier to a young child’s achieving their potential.

11) Promotes the Achievement of Millennium Development Goals.  Universal Primary Education
(UPE) is a Millennium Development Goal.

12) Supports Higher Participation Rates in School.  Female literacy and education – promotes higher
participation rates in their children’s schooling.

[1]       Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (

(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education
shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally
accessible to all on the basis of merit.

(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and
fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall
further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

Working to Improve Literacy and Basic Education Throughout the Developing World
Copyright © 2010 by World Literacy Initiative, Inc. All Rights Protected.

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About Merid Desta

I am a very passionate and mature African-Ethiopian researcher/ peacebuilder/ manager/ leader/ who have been doing a research on peace and conflict in the horn of Africa. I have learned that both my under- and post-graduate studies need to be topped up with formal studies of theories and praxis of peace, conflict, justice, identity, nationalism, ethnicity, religion and other related theories. All the trusts, institutes, faith-based and other secular organisations in which I was involved in leadership, mobilising and training capacities, were committed to addressing all aspects of individuals and communities’ life. Being an advocate for all human beings to be released from their spiritual, physical, social, mental and economic poverty, with a view to enabling them to become fulfilled and responsible human beings who live up to the standard of their best capacity, was at the core of all my work and the people and teams whose ministry I led. I have been involved in interfaith; interethnic; intercultural and interdenominational peacebuilding, conflict resolution and management work in the capital. My family’s life has always been sacrificial. We have committed our lives and are preparing for more commitments to work initially among a few communities and regions in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan/ South Sudan and the surrounding regions. These nations of Eastern Africa have often been under enormous threats and incidents of civil wars, ethno-religious conflicts, genocide etc.

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