Primary schools in Mexico teach peaceful conflict resolution

“If you want to make peace with your enemy you have to work with him. Then he becomes your partner “, is a phrase of Nelson Mandela that is included in the manual of the National School Coexistence Program, which is provided in the public elementary schools of Mexico.

With a formative and preventive nature, the objective is to teach children to resolve their conflicts peacefully, even from the earliest stage.

It is intended to develop skills of tolerance, empathy, negotiation, self-knowledge and management of emotions to generate favorable environments for learning.

Bullying is defined by dependence as “all intentional, directed, frequent and inequitable behavior that is exercised among students and in the school environment, in order to subject, exploit and cause harm.”

Therefore, the Mexican authorities promote a strategy focused on achieving a harmonious and peaceful coexistence among students. The Project for School Coexistence (PACE) was developed and applied only in the third year of primary school as a pilot program during the school years 2014-2015 and 2015-2016.

For the 2016-2017 cycle, it was generalized from first to sixth grade as a national program, and for 2017-2018 it included students in the third year of preschool and three grades in secondary school.

Through this policy for a school free from bullying, they work with social and emotional skills, as they are necessary for the integral development of people, favoring the way of relating to others and improving learning environments.

Through six formative axes students are guided on topics such as: Self-esteem. I know myself and I love myself as I am; I recognize and manage my emotions; I live with others and respect them; The rules: agreements of coexistence; Management and resolution of conflicts; and all families are important.

In the manual of the program, of the Secretariat of Public Education (SEP), behavioral behavior tools are provided to be applied in the classroom both with children and with parents, and to improve the students’ abilities in the conflict resolution.

The text discloses some situations to which parents, guardians and tutors of high school students must be attentive, including changes in their mood and how they relate to their classmates and teacher; In addition, it suggests establishing rules for the use of computers, tablets, Internet and cell phones.

For example, for adolescents, it is recommended that you avoid publishing unpleasant messages or photos on social networks, as a way to respect your own privacy and that of others.

The unit aims to have schools free of harassment, one in which the entire educational community establishes harmonious, peaceful and inclusive interpersonal relationships based on values ​​and respect for human rights.

In this sense, it emphasizes that a school free of harassment is where differences are respected and valued, emotions and behavior are regulated, agreements are established and the conflict is peacefully handled, the rules are respected and the proactive participation of families is achieved.

Such an environment, highlights the federal dependence, derives in an optimal coexistence for learning and the integral development of the students. “The school has an invaluable role in society; it is not only a space where knowledge is built and cognitive skills are developed, but it is extremely important for the identity formation of both infants and young people”.

For this, it has materials, both text and audiovisual, for teachers and students, who can work on their self-esteem, for example, supported with a notebook of activities, with exercises that recognize and explore their physical characteristics and abilities that make them unique and special.

The SEP has available various materials that are available on the microsite on the internet https://www.gob.mx/escuelalibredeacoso/, and also has a telephone line 01 800 11 ACOSO and protocols for each entity in the Mexican Republic.

Currently the strategy is applied in 21,381 primary schools, benefiting more than 4.4 million students, and is expected to expand to just over 80 thousand schools next school year, which would cover pre-school, primary and secondary.

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