The National Commission for UNESCO (NATCOM-UNESCO) in partnership with the Ministry of Education is training teachers on prevention of Violent Extremism through Education (PVE-E) in the six geo-political zones of the country.
The Permanent Secretary, the Federal Ministry of Education, Mr Sonny Echono at a three-day capacity workshop in Abuja on Wednesday, said teachers played key roles in preventing violent extremism in the schools.
Echono, represented by the Director, Educational Planning, Research and Development (EPR&D) in the ministry, said it was critical to domesticate and implement the visions of Global Agenda on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).
According to him, teachers play key roles in creating learning environments that benefit students and foster a culture of peace and resilience.
“The workshop will highlight the importance of transformation pedagogy for peace building and its application in the classrooms.“ The training will help to strengthen the capacity of teachers as well as help in addressing the drivers of violent extremism within the framework of Global Citizenship education.
“It will help teachers to create a classroom climate that is inclusive and conducive to respectful dialogue and open discussion.”
“This will effectively contribute towards equipping learners of all ages with the knowledge, values, attitude and behaviours which foster responsible global citizenship, critical thinking, empathy and ability to take action against violent extremism,“ he said.
Echono said that the workshop would identify teacher’s actionable guidelines on the prevention of violent extremism by providing practical advice on when and how to discuss issues of violent extremism to learners.
He said with the myriad of peace and security challenges, it was important that the educational institutions created awareness through teachers to sensitise students and youths to shun violence and encourage peaceful co-existence.
“Violent extremism and the underlying forces of radicalisation are among the most pervasive challenges of our time.
“Thus, for educational initiatives to have positive peace building, it must seek to deconstruct structures of violence and construct structures of peace,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Secretary-General, NATCOM UNESCO, Mr Lateef Olagunju, said that the workshop would provide a network, which would cut across the six geopolitical zones to equip teachers on strategies to prevent violent in the schools.
“The workshop is to sensitise the teachers to educate them on some of the strategies of preventing violent extremism so that they can tickle it down to the students.
“The believe of UNESCO is that education is a veritable tool to be used to quell violent extremism in any nation of the world and research has shown that a lot need to be put into education for this to be achieved,” he said.
Olagunju said that the workshop would also focus on skill acquisition for teachers to better their lives.
He said that a subsequent workshop would be extended to security agencies so that the schools and the country at large would be better.(NAN)