AVEC SEMINAR FOR VALUE EDUCATION TEACHERS
-Mrs. Elizabeth Soares

The annual AVEC seminar for the Value Education teachers of the ABE schools was held on Wed 07th Aug 2019 at DBIS Matunga. The meeting coordinated by Fr. Leon Rodrigues sdb, Director of AVEC was attended by Mrs. Elizabeth Soares from the secondary section and Ms. MaryFernandes from the primary section. The main theme and focus of the seminar was peace education; the main speaker was Fr. Peter Gonsalves sdb (Salesian Pontifical University-Rome). The participants were guided into understanding the meaning of peace, peace in our context, and the need for peace education. The different types of needs were introduced to us and that unless and until the needs get fulfilled humankind will not have peace. In order to understand the significance of peace we had to understand the ABC of violence-attitude, behavior and contradiction. The need for promoting a culture of peace was explained with the life and teachings of Buddha, Mahavir, Sant Kabir with a very special mention of Mahatma Gandhi.
As educators we must begin with peace among our children so that we return love to love and peace to peace. Fr. Peter introduced to us the book ‘We choose peace’ and the manual on exercises for peace education. We were encouraged to adopt a participatory approach, talk and share, and then adopt peace situations, to move from violence to peace. This in turn would help deal with conflicts and help build a culture of peace.
As peace educators we were called to live and practice what we teach. We were asked to approach parents to be involved in peace education. The peace educator was further expected to search peace in oneself, had to possess class management skills, be friendly, courteous and respectful. The seminar concluded with the BBC Documentary on Mahatma Gandhiji-the man who made a difference and brought about a change.
At the seminar the AVEC Awards were declared and our school bagged the first place among the schools in our Deanery-the Central Suburbs, North Mumbai and South Mumbai. We were appreciated for our contribution in promoting health, harmony, holiness and happiness for the academic year 2018-2019 through our active participation in all the four AVEC modules and their respective competitions.