The University of Education, Winneba has established a “Centre for Conflict, Human Rights and Peace Studies” (CHRAPS) in the Department of Social Studies Education of the Faculty of Social Science Education. The Centre, which is established on the Winneba campus of the University of Education, Winneba, has the same status as an academic department. The Centre for Conflict, Human Rights and Peace Studies seeks to be Ghana’s premier Centre that conducts independent research on, and provides in-depth analyses of conventional and non-conventional issues related to the intersections between conflict, peace and human rights processes in West Africa and beyond. The Centre seeks to build on the work being done through the human rights education programme in the Department of Social Studies Education to produce graduates who will lead peace processes and human rights work for many years, and in different contexts.
The Centre, apart from its research activities, offer academic programmes on full-time, part-time (evening, weekend and sandwich) and distance modes. The Centre has started with the Human Rights Programmes being offered at the Social Studies Education Department and in the modes as currently being offered. This is to relieve the Department of the additional burden it has been carrying, so as to concentrate on the various programmes in Social Studies it is currently offering (i.e. the B A, M. Ed., M. Phil. and Ph. D. /Ed. D in Social Studies Education). The Programme on Peace Studies will be made an ELECTIVE for interested candidates on the Human Rights Programmes, based on their interest and/or Professional Background. Resources (Human, infrastructure, etc) are already available or are at least considered to be sufficiently above average for the immediate start of the Centre.
The 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights forcefully associated the protection of human rights with the prevention of violent conflict, stating that “it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law” (UN 1948 – Preamble). Since then, opportunities for human development have bordered on promoting peace and human rights education. This orientation is promoted in several major UN declarations such as its Decade of Human Rights Education (1995 – 2004), the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for Children of the World (2001 – 2010), and the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005 – 2014). Societies are increasing being challenged to offer education that improves human capabilities in formulating good policies, addresses questions of social cohesion, social justice and inequalities. Thus, education is constantly being asked to guarantee human rights for all, and to promote ideas of peace and security.
In recognition of the unprecedented dimensions of issues of conflicts, and the interconnections with peace and human rights, the Centre for Conflict, Human Rights and Peace Studies is primarily concerned with conducting research, producing graduates with peace-building skills through transformative pedagogy and developing curriculum content that is designed to prepare students to pursue the objectives of peace and human rights within society. The Centre will therefore create academic programmes that offer courses related to peace programming, conflict resolution and human rights promotion, as well as practical skills in peace education.
The establishment of the Centre is supposed to open up linkage opportunities with other academic institutions and centres worldwide, which will lead to collaboration in research, publications and students’ and faculty exchanges among others. This is so because the issues of Human Rights and Peace have become very important and ever present in international discourse, not only on the political level but also in the realms of intellectual engagement and scholarship.
MISSION OF THE CENTRE
In line with the mandate of the University of Education, Winneba, the mission of the Centre for Conflict, Human Rights and Peace Studies is to engage in teaching and research activities that generate knowledge to spearhead innovation and excellence in conflict resolution, human rights promotion and peace programming initiatives. The Centre is committed to the formulation and delivery of course contents that provide students with a range of knowledge, skills, and problem-solving abilities to lead human rights and peace programming within State institutions, Inter-Governmental Organizations and not-for-profit organizations in Ghana and around the globe.
VISION OF THE CENTRE
The Centre seeks to be Ghana’s premier centre of excellence and innovation in teaching, research and programming in conflict resolution, human rights promotion and peace education with partners in West Africa and beyond.
In line with that vision, the Centre shall be proactive in:
- attracting, recruiting and retaining internationally acknowledged faculty with the requisite expertise and knowledge in human rights, conflicts and peace issues;
- formulation and delivery of course contents that provide challenging, but rewarding academic experiences for students to lead innovation in the fields of conflict resolution, human rights promotion and peace education;
- empowering an interdisciplinary faculty with the expertise and holistic perspective for providing excellence in teaching, research, publication, curriculum development, scholarship, and community service to Ghana in particular and to the global community in general;
- supporting staff to be absolutely dedicated to the creation and sustenance of an organisational culture conducive learning/research environment for students and faculty.
The Centre will offer the following postgraduate programmes:
- Executive Masters (Human Rights, Conflict and Peace Studies) – During Weekends
- M. A. (Human Rights, Conflict and Peace Studies) – Sandwich
- M. Phil. (Human Rights, Conflict and Peace Studies) – Full-Time
- PhD (Human Rights, Conflict and Peace Studies) – Full Time
The Centre will start with the M. A. (Human Rights, Conflict and Peace Studies) – Sandwich and Executive Masters and, M. Phil (Human Rights, Conflict and Peace Studies) – Full-Time programmes in 2017/2018 academic year. The PhD (Human Rights, Conflict and Peace Studies) will be added as and when the Centre’s capacity, in terms of faculty, is increased.