UNESCO brings together teacher trainers to champion peace education and prevent violent extremism in teacher training – Uganda

The Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) in Uganda is implementing the Peace Education and Prevention of Violent Extremism Project with the support of the UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA) titled “Youth Empowerment for Peace and Resilience Building and Prevention of Violent Extremism”. Extremism in African Countries through Teacher Development”. This project was supported by the Government of Japan to support the integration of peace education into teacher training, train teachers and teacher trainers to inspire young people to become agents of peace and to schools safe learning environments.

In line with the above, a one-day workshop was organized for stakeholder engagement in Kampala on July 29, 2022, aimed at sharing experiences on peace education and prevention of violent extremism in selected teacher training institutions in Uganda, attracting over 40 participants. The workshop was intended for;

  • disseminate the basic results of a study on peace education and the prevention of violent extremism in selected teacher training institutions
  • discuss the proposed work plan on the integration of peace education and the prevention of violent extremism by Muni University and the NTC Muni, and
  • share experiences of peace education and prevention of violent extremism in teacher training

This initiative is relevant in the context where the Horn of Africa region where Uganda is located is suffering a lot of ongoing violent conflicts caused by a variety of factors which have resulted in immense suffering and destruction of property and lives. Some of these conflicts stemmed from skirmishes over resources, ethnic stereotyping, marginalization, exclusion and acts of violent extremism, with many of these manifestations still evident and present today. The guide on Transformative Pedagogy for Peacebuilding (an innovative pedagogical approach that enables learners to critically examine their attitude and beliefs) developed by UNESCO IIRCA therefore provides an anchor point for this intervention.

The main guest of the workshop, Ms. Annet Kajura, Deputy Commissioner TETD at the MoES advised teacher trainers to be role models and messengers of peace. She revealed that, “The teaching profession is a profession that can transform all other professions and therefore you have an additional responsibility to play as agents of peace and role models for the younger generation.”

Mr. Charles Draecabo, National Projects Coordinator, in his address to the teacher trainers, highlighted the need to incorporate the promising practices documented in the report and use them to model curriculum content that promotes peace in the learners’ minds. Mr. Draecabo added: “without peace, all the efforts you would like to make will be in vain.”

In her address, Ms. Victoria Kisaakye, Senior Coordinator of Capacity Development Programs for Education at IICBA, highlighted that the Institute is focused on improving the quality of learners through effective teaching in an environment that promotes peace. She said that “schools can be hubs for peacebuilding in the communities where they are located and the role of education in building peace and resilience remains very critical as it plays a transformative roleShe and Ms. Eyerusalem Azmeraw shared several training materials developed by IICBA and introduced a virtual peace education campus for teacher trainers who wish to take an online course.

The workshop recommended the need to extend training on violence prevention to all teacher training institutions and universities as well as to develop a module targeting the personal well-being and psychosocial support of teacher trainers there. where they face challenges that impact their lives. The other demand will be for UNESCO to support more youth-focused training for university students to prevent the college violence that has become rampant.

About Michael C. Lovelace

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