On July 8, 2021, the Warren Educational Policies Program (WEPP) of the Auschwitz Institute for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities (AIPG) launched the second phase of its project “Citizenship, Memory and Culture of Peace in El Salvador,” in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) office working in the country. The main objective of the project’s newest phrase will be to strengthen the capacity of El Salvador’s education system to prevent the rise of prejudice, discrimination, and violence by promoting a culture of human rights and commitment to democracy among the younger generations.
Through the project’s second phase, which builds upon work started in 2016, AIPG seeks to evaluate and revise the content of “Citizenship, Memory, and Culture of Peace in El Salvador: A Toolkit for Teachers and Educators,” with the purpose of adding a third volume to the educational material that focuses on democratic citizenship in the post-COVID era. This additional volume will complement the two existing modules on historical memory and peace culture.
The upcoming edition of the project is expected to launch in 2022, with the aim of expanding the use of the toolkit. It will do so by building on an ambitious training process to equip teachers and educators in El Salvador — in both the formal and non-formal systems — with knowledge and tools to promote education on democratic citizenship.
About the Original Project in El Salvador
Together with the Salvadoran Office of the Human Rights Ombudsman (PDDH), the Auschwitz Institute and the Ministry of Education (MINED) of El Salvador concluded the development of the educational material “Citizenship, Memory, and a Culture of Peace in El Salvador: A Toolkit for Teachers and Educators” in October 2018. The project came as the result of a consultative process involving the participation of more than 30 public officials, representatives of the educational community, and civil society groups in 2016. The objective of the project resource is to provide teachers and educational center managers, as well as civil society organizations, with a series of tools to facilitate work on a curriculum dedicated for democratic citizenship, memory, and peace culture with adolescents in El Salvador.
The Toolkit was officially launched in October 2018, during the Second International Meeting on Culture of Peace: Education, Memory and Human Rights, which was organized by AIPG and MINED. The following year, AIPG trained the first group of 60 educators, including teachers from the Salvadoran public school system, members of the PDDH School of Human Rights, as well as representatives of the 14 departmental delegations of the PDDH. This training worked to create a network of “multiplier” actors within the context of non-formal education and private schools.
Following these workshops, AIPG and INFOD worked on the creation of an 8-week virtual course. The resulting course was offered by INFOD during the fall of 2019 and was completed by 47 teachers. For its part, at the end of 2019, the PDDH School of Human Rights developed a working plan for 2020, which included a series of face-to-face and virtual training processes from the project Toolkit.
According to Dr. Clara Ramírez Barat, Director of the Warren Educational Policies Program:
Despite the difficulties due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we have successfully adapted the WEPP’s “Citizenship, Memory and Culture of Peace in El Salvador” project to this new reality and have worked to address the evolving needs of educators across the country. Thus, I am pleased to have the opportunity to continue working to strengthen El Salvador’s culture of human rights and democratic citizenship through education.