CGCC cohosted a roundtable entitled “The Role of Education in Countering Violent Extremism,” with Hedayah, the recently established International Center of Excellence on Countering Violent Extremism, which has identified education as one of its key strategic priorities. The meeting brought together a group of experts and key stakeholders to discuss challenges and best practices relating to education and efforts for countering violent extremism (CVE). Participants from Bangladesh, Nigeria, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, among other countries, shared experiences and lessons learned in their areas of expertise, including sports, culture, community engagement, and rehabilitation, in an effort to inform current and future CVE programming and practice.
Among the key points highlighted during the discussions is the challenge of providing safe spaces for students, teachers, and staff and the need for curricula and activities that promote critical thinking. Participants also emphasized the importance of engaging families and communities, for example, through sports, theatre, and literacy classes, and facilitating platforms for exchange among students from different cultures and backgrounds. A compendium of best practices was suggested to guide governments in their efforts to support education and CVE objectives.
To build on this expert-level meeting and to raise awareness and political support for the topic, Hedayah and the Permanent Mission of the United Arab Emirates to the United Nations hosted a high level meeting on the sidelines of the General Assembly. CGCC’s Executive Director, Alistair Millar, was invited to present remarks on the role of educational institutions as incubators and mitigators of violent extremism and share key findings from the expert roundtable.
The key issues raised during both meetings will be developed in an outcome report to be produced by CGCC and Hedayah.