Parliaments told to prioritize education for peaceful co-existence

Arua Woman Member of Parliament, Maureen Osoru has told delegates at the ongoing 140th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) that only education can guarantee the world peace and security as opposed to the military might.

The IPU Assembly is sitting in Doha, Qatar under the theme; “Parliaments as platform to enhance education for peace, security and the rule of law.”

Addressing global legislators at the opening of the general debate, Osoru who is the outgoing President of the Forum of Young Parliamentarians of IPU said, the growth in violent extremism, terrorism and hate, education ought to be used as a mechanism for peace building.

“I want to assure all legislators all over the world that peace and security is not won with the barrel of the gun, and, many military responses have been embraced by many leaders because they have failed to address the root causes and instead they rush to address the symptoms and not the disease” Osoru said.

Arua Woman MP Maureen Osoru addressing the IPU assembly in Doha, Qatar

“No one is born a hater. No one is born a violent extremist. Hate is learned. To nip hate in the bud, we need to solve the problem at its root; in the minds and aspirations of young people. Education is the most powerful way to achieve this,” she added.

The legislator argued that in as much as military interventions across the world are needed; the most sustainable approach to peace and reconciliation in the long term is education especially of the youth.

She faulted Parliaments for failure to deliver on the laws that guarantee a sustainable future for children through education yet they pass billions of dollars in military finance with no tangible results to show for it.

“In 2018, the world spent $1.7 trillion dollars on the military. What if just a fraction of this money was redirected to education? When it comes to our own children and grandchildren where we need to translate this into laws and policies, we are failing to deliver,” Osoru said.

She proposed an inclusive education with curricula that is routinely updated to meet the technological and market demands, and pushed for new legislation that will facilitate a free education all the way to the university.

“Education today must be adapted to tomorrow’s jobs. We update our smartphones every few years; we should do the same with our schools. Young people today will work several jobs before they retire. To have an agile job market, we need an agile education. We must also prepare for the shift towards greater online education, which will one day overtake traditional programmes,” Osoru said.

Uganda is represented at the IPU by MPs Latif Ssebagala (Kawempe North), Francis Mwijukye (Buhweju) Paul Akamba (Busiki), Esther Anyakun (Nakapiripiriti Woman), Rose Kabagenyi (Kisoro) and Osoru.