UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

02/18/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 02/18/2021 03:26

Educators Meet in Erbil to Revise PVE-E Materials

9 - 14 February 2021

UNESCO convened a series of hybrid consultations that brought together educators from the Ministry of Education and Departments of Education in Anbar and Ninewa to review PVE-E materials developed in the previous projects for use in the training activities of the upcoming project.

Background

Within the overall framework of the flagship project of 'Revive the Spirit of Mosul' and with the support from the Government of the Netherlands and the Government of Japan, UNESCO and partners implemented the 'Projects Prevention of Violent Extremism through Education in Mosul primary schools' and 'Voices of the Children of Mosul'. Founded on UNESCO's mandate of building peace in the minds of men and women and Global Citizenship Education, the projects were a response to the Government of Iraq's request for technical support in addressing aims as outlined in the Recovery and Resilience Program, Supporting Prevention of Violent Extremism Framework.

Anchored on the whole of community approach to preventing violent extremism through education, the projects built the capacities of 1000 primary school teachers, parents and school administrators to foster among learners a range of supporting cognitive socio-emotional and behavioural skills to cultivate resilience against radicalization leading to violence. In addition to capacity building for aforementioned stakeholders, the projects, especially the later, also developed PVE-E materials for educators to interweave into their daily interactions with learners in the classrooms, school environment and at home.

Gendered Approach to Prevention of Violent Extremism through Education in Iraq

Building on the success and learnings of these projects, including feedback from stakeholders such as the Ministry of Education, UNESCO has initiated the new project, 'Gendered Approach to Prevention of Violent Extremism through Education in Iraq'. The project is funded by the Government of Canada and aims to contribute to building resilient communities by strengthening the capacities of school actors in 250 schools in the post-conflict-occupation contexts of Ninewa and Anbar Governorates. To ensure sustainable continuity of previous efforts, UNESCO is revising the aforementioned materials for use in the upcoming training activities of the new project.

The Sessions

Harnessing the best of the digital and physical worlds, the sessions spanned 3 days of digital interactions and a concluding physical gathering in Erbil. The sessions brought together a delegation from UNESCO's closest partner, the Ministry of Education, including representatives from the Departments of Education in Ninewa and Anbar under the leadership of Dr. Wisal Aldory, Director General of Training.

The sessions expounded on broader conceptual and theoretical foundations of the materials such as the definition of terms and concepts like radical, extremist, violence, radicalization, violent extremism, peaceful co-existence, tolerance, living together, resilience; to specific details in specific materials such as the notorious and perennial challenges presented by translation.

These rich and engaging discussions were taken from the world of Zoom and Microsoft Teams to Erbil where, for the whole day, a pattern of key issues to be revised emerged. Among others, the stakeholders requested for more activities to be added, language to be simplified, focus to be on strength-based concepts as compared to 'negative' terminologies that might hinder buy-in from local actors such as teachers. They also reiterated the need for UNESCO to ensure that the translation is as pedagogically rigorous as possible - including seeking support from the Ministry of Education if required.