Preventing Violent Extremism through Education

In the international community, there is an increasing importance of Prevention of Violent Extremism through Education (PVE-E). For example, the Global Counter-Terrorism Forum (GCTF) has prioritized the topic of education in the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) working group since its inception in September 2011.  This priority theme has led to the development and acceptance of a framework document, the Abu Dhabi Memorandum on Education and Countering Violent Extremism in September 2014, which was developed in consultation with Hedayah, the International Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism. The good practices were rooted in several expert workshops, desk research, and capacity-building courses on CVE & education that were conducted through Hedayah from 2013-2014.  Hedayah also supported the Abu Dhabi Action Plan on Education and CVE, which was released in September 2015.
At the same time, the United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/70/L.55 of 1 July 2016; The United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy Review; and the Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism issued by the UN Secretary-General in 2016 also refer to education as a key stakeholder in PVE. Furthermore, as stated in the 2005 UNESCO Executive Board decision, in which Member States expressed their collective commitment to PVE-E and request UNESCO to support capacity building of key stakeholders (197 EX/Decision 46).
Within the above-described frameworks, Hedayah, together with UNESCO and UNESCO IICBA developed a full curriculum and delivered a capacity building training teacher trainers in Uganda (January 2018). A similar capacity building training was delivered for  South Sudan (October 2018). A comprehensive MM&E report on the program in Uganda was published in January 2019 and is publicly available. In addition to East Africa, Hedayah, UNDP and the Commonwealth Secretariat hosted two regional workshops for South and Southeast Asia (September 2018 and July 2019).  In August 2019, Hedayah publicly launched the publication: “Classroom Activities: Preventing Violent Extremism through Education in East Africa”.
  • To build the capacities of education stakeholders to develop and implement educational interventions and approaches that contribute, effectively and appropriately, to the prevention of RLVE through resilience building and the promotion of global citizenship, tolerance and respect for diversity.
  • To enhance the knowledge of teachers, educators, mentors and teacher trainers in developing confidently lesson plans, activities and games, curricula and capacity building initiatives that help build learning environments that mitigate the threat of violent extremism.
  • Improve the understanding of the drivers of Radicalization leading to Violent Extremism (RLVE)
  • Improve the understanding of PVE terminology and language in more depth, and contextualized to the local community
  • Improve the understanding of the role of formal and/or informal education in light of the principles of peace and global citizenship education
  • Identify priority areas of intervention for PVE, key implementation challenges and good practices to overcome obstacles
  • Identify how to use international resources at the educational level and within teacher/educator training institutions, as well as their possible integration into non-formal education programs
  • Improve knowledge and skills of pedagogical approaches that can help address the drivers of violent extremism, build resilience in the classroom, and nurture a culture of peace in and through education

    • Creating safe spaces for classroom dialogue about challenging topics, including violent extremism;
    • Enhancing social and emotional learning that assists in building more resilient students;
    • Developing an understanding of digital and media literacy skills, and pedagogical approaches to digital and media literacy;
  • Facilitate the development of a tailored curriculum to implement in the formal and informal education sector in the country
Hedayah is committed to expand this curriculum and to produce context-relevant resources for teachers and teacher trainers globally. This includes classroom activities; guides, facilitators’ guides and specific capacity building trainings for formal and informal educators. Hedayah firmly believes that education is paramount to instill peace values and will expand the range of countries involved in this effort. As part of this effort, national-level capacity building trainings in North Africa (Tunisia), South Asia and Southeast Asia are currently being explored with relevant partners, donors, and national authorities.