Proceedings of the 6th International Academic Conference on Education, Teaching and Learning
Challenges and Problems of Peace Education in Kyrgyzstan
Prof. Dr. Cholpon Chotaeva
Although different peace studies programs were created in the 1960s in Europe and USA, peace education is still unknown to the public in Kyrgyzstan. Common people in Kyrgyzstan often associate peace studies with the study of international conflicts and wars, thus confusing peace studies with international relations and politics. Meanwhile, peace studies represent a very broad interdisciplinary field and peace education includes a variety of courses related to peace building, citizenship, human rights, democracy, gender equality, environment, communication, nationalism and many others. Kyrgyzstan, a multicultural country that has witnessed interethnic and interconfessional tensions, border clashes, color revolutions, air pollution, desperately needs the professionals who can respond to all those challenges and change the society for the better. Recently the first undergraduate program of peace and conflict studies has been opened at the American University of Central Asian in Kyrgyzstan. However, it fails in recruitment, as students do not understand what professional careers they can pursue after their graduation. They believe that they will not be employed with the diploma of peace studies. Besides, there is a number of problems faced by professors of the program, as many of them do not come from peace studies but from adjacent fields of social sciences. They do not have enough theoretical knowledge, lack practical expertise and do not master well the teaching methodology of peace studies.
keywords: expertise, peace building, peace studies, recruitment, theoretical knowledge