<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Education imparted in schools can play a very pivotal role in combating violent extremism, which is a result of many factors like marginalisation, discrimination, poverty etc. This was the highlight of the UNESCO International Conference on the Prevention of Violent Extremism through Education: Taking Action held in Aerocity here on Monday.The two-day event which is being co-organised by UNESCO Headquarters and the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development, was attended by delegates from across the globe who deliberated upon global terrorism, indoctrination of youth and its prevention using schools as one of the most effective tools.Discussing what entails the real reasons behind impressionable minds taking to extremism, Soo-Hyang Choi, director, Division for Inclusion, Peace and Sustainable Development, UNESCO Headquarters said that apart from alienation, the prospect of stable employment, earning money, strong leadership in a well-structured environment were the ‘push and pull’ factors for rising xenophobia. Talking about how schools are among the significant weapon in handling this, she argued that schools can teach resilience to students, preparing them to be tolerant of those with divergent views. “Students must be taught the ability to not fall prey to simple black and white messages. Schools can also encourage critical thinking for different point of views,”she added.Taking the plenary session further, George Godia, Ambassador of Kenya to UNESCO said that schools must impart education that is relevant to employable sector. “Labour skills must form an important part of curriculum as it increases job prospects, and in the process, protects youth from getting waylaid by extremists. Schools must also adopt to changing society and teachers too need to move ahead with times,” he stated, adding that one of the challenges is the failure of families in reinforcing school’s goals.Godia also urged the media to act “responsibly” in its reportage, asking it to refrain from glorifying extremism. “Media requires to have some self-regulating norms,”he said.

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Teaching resilience to students can prevent violent extremism: UNESCO