23 November 2023
Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE) conducive to terrorism is most effective when tackled at the grassroots. Education as a universal value transcends cultures and contexts and can be a vehicle in P/CVE conducive to terrorism efforts and interventions, while ensuring access to, and the protection of schools, as a safe space, is safeguarded. Governments, civil society, and the private sector should collaborate more to help identify the myriad of ways in which education can be utilized to build resilience and reduce recruitment and the radicalization of youth to violent extremism.
Presented at the 21st Coordinating Committee Meeting in Cairo, Egypt, the GCTF Education and P/CVE Initiative, led by the European Union and Morocco, supported by Australia and Indonesia, as the GCTF CVE Working Group leads, and Hedayah as the implementing partner was recently launched. This initiative seeks to build on, improve and make more current the good practices and recommendations as shared in the Abu Dhabi Memorandum for Good Practices on Education and Countering Violent Extremism.
The Education Initiative will consist of three key events:
- Launch Conference,
- Expert Workshop, and a
- Closing Conference.
Following the expert workshop, Hedayah will be instrumental in delivering important materials for the initiative: a research brief, a toolkit, and a ‘Training of Trainers’ curriculum to provide the necessary tools to support local capacity building. Additional expertise will be sought from experts and practitioners from the European Union’s Radicalization Awareness Network (RAN), and the Moroccan national specialized institutions, such as the Moroccan Observatory of Extremism and Violence (OMEV). This Initiative will also build on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) best practices tools and work in preventing violent extremism through education. The geographic focus will be on Africa, especially the Sahel region, where the terrorism threat has been increasing systemically, according to recent UN reports on terrorism activities.
The GCTF Abu Dhabi Memorandum for Good Practices on Education and Countering Violent Extremism, was endorsed in September 2014 at the Fifth GCTF Ministerial Meeting in New York City, United States. It sets out an array of non-binding good practices on how education can be used as an effective way to P/CVE conducive to terrorism. Policymakers, teachers and educators, community-based organizations, and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs), families and parents are instrumental in supporting the use of education in effective P/CVE efforts.