The impact of the socio-political context on peace education: experiences from three selected universities in Zimbabwe.
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In this dissertation, I focus on the impact of the socio-political context on the experiences of the teaching and learning of peace at Africa University (AU), the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) and the Midlands State University (MSU). The study is entrenched within the Systems and Marxist theories of education as well as the transformational conflict theory. My central argument is that peace education is currently operating within constrained environment within which it is viewed with suspicion as a western inspired regime change agenda. This is evident in the onslaught that it faces from state aligned media. Secondly, the potential effectiveness of peace education is also hindered by partisan political tampering that has kept its content and pedagogical approaches on a leash to ensure that it steers clear of controversial yet pertinent issues. Due to this evident lack of political will students argue that current peace education initiatives are not only irrelevant but designed to mollify them so they do not question the injustices of their lived realities. In my study I underscore that the sanctioning of peace education in Zimbabwean universities remains cosmetic in the absence of political will to address the structural socio-political imbalances that currently militate against the values of plurality, tolerance, truth telling, forgiveness and reconciliation. This dissertation mainly draws on former and current students, lecturers and retired educationists‟ subjective interpretations of their teaching, learning and existential experiences.