Civic education

Webinar: How transformative pedagogy can respond to learning needs during the COVID-19 and support the wellbeing and resilience of children during and after the pandemic?

Webinar: How transformative pedagogy can respond to learning needs during the COVID-19 and support the wellbeing and resilience of children during and after the pandemic?

Find the video of this webinar here.

This Wednesday, May 27, from 13h to 14h30 (UTC), the IICBA invites you to attend the third of a serie of four webinars on transformational pedagogy, peace and resilience in times of global health crisis.

Date: Wednesday, 27 May, 2020
Time: 13h00 – 14h30 UTC
Duration: 90 minutes

Click here to join the webinar: https://tinyurl.com/y7g7svv8 or https://bit.ly/3e4ze3O 

Close to 90% of the world’s schoolchildren are not attending school at present and are being confined at home and places of shelter. While the education sector has responded to school closures by setting up online learning spaces and other innovative practices to support home-schooling, half of all students of the world are currently out of the classroom without access to a computer, and more than 40 per cent of children have no internet access at home.  Many children are being left behind with increasing disparities in access to education and learning, compromising their safety and well-being.

This is happening in a context where socio-economic inequalities are being exacerbated as the economic consequences of the pandemic are having a dramatic effect on the most vulnerable and marginalized children. According to the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) more than half a billion people — almost 8% of the global population — could be pushed into poverty as a result of the pandemic.The impact on African economies could be the slowing of growth to 1.8 per cent in the best case scenario or a contraction of 2.6 per cent in the worst case. This has the potential to push 29 million people into extreme poverty.

Acording to the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), education is one of the sectors most heavily affected, with the closure of learning institutions in many African countries likely to negatively affect education in terms of access, quality and investments. In the last few weeks, African governments and key education stakeholders have instituted some measures to promote the continuity of education from home. These have been successful in some ways, but challenges remain.

As the world rallies to meet the challenge posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, extremist groups including those from West Africa have continued to carry out large-scale attacks and conduct cross-border activities.  There is a risk the current situation might undermine gains on peacebuilding and prevention of violent extremism including those made by the education sector.

Due to the impacts of the pandemic, millions of learners will go back to school finding themselves poorer, more vulnerable and in some cases victims of violence. Even if not affected directly, learners will witness changes in their environment and ethical challenges arising in their contexts as a consequence of the pandemic.

Education should respond to the holistic needs of the learners, empower children to be resilient and equip them to cope with the context around them and positively respond to the challenges they face.

While lockdowns, learning at home and online learning strategies continue, we must make use of dynamic approaches to support learners beyond their academic work. A special emphasis should be given to support learners socio-emotional learning during this period. Teachers who have the closest contacts to the children on behalf of the education sector, have the opportunities to work with parents and cargivers to support children to continue their learning.  Learning opportunities in these context can also be built around their day to day activities and strengthened further by creative and sensitive pedagogical approaches that can contribute to building life compencies for the learners.

As children restart schooling, it is not sufficient for us to just take children back to “business as usual” and engage them only in regular academic work or in fact intensify the academic workload to catch up on missed curriculums and to prepare for exams. It is important to support their holistic well-being including their social and emotional learning needs and foster their resilience by providing safe learning enviornments for sharing their experiences and emotions; helping them to renew their social relationships with one another; discuss concerns; and by providing opportunities to reflect and engage with the new context we find ourselves in.

While we face the challenges of the current context, we must also look at the opportunities amids this crisis. Crises, by rupturing our normative frames of reference, invite the possibility of transforming the conditions that produced the crises. But crises are not transformative if they merely evoke feelings. Feeling, in the absence of thought and action, does nothing to challenge or change the conditions that illicit the feeling. Education should respond to this crisis by addressing the conditions that create uncertainty and disconnection in the learning of the learnerrs, reflecting on how it affects their learning needs and well-being.  This should lead to action and to creatively respond to the context to make it part of the learning, contributing to creating transformative experiences.Praxis requires both reflection and action.

While the COVID 19 pandemic has put pressure on the education, it has also shown our interconnectedness and the power of human solidarity. Education can make use of transformative pedagogies to creatively address this opportunity and strengthen the holistic learning, resilience and well-being of children.

How transformative pedagogy can respond to learning needs during the COVID-19 and support the wellbeing and resilience of children during and after the pandemic?

This webinar invites us to reflect on how educators can make use of transformative pedagogy to meet the learning needs of leaners during the Covid-19 pandemic and moving forward. The webinar is part of a learning module that UNESCO IICBA is offering for educators to support learners during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The objectives of the webinar are to:

  • discuss the role of transformative pedagogy in the context of the current Covid-19 pandemic ;
  • recommend transformative pedagogical approaches that can be leveraged for the learning needs of children ;
  • identify strategies to foster learner’s well-being and empower them to develop their competencies for resilience.

 

Programme and Speakers :

Welcome and Key Note Remarks: 

Dr. Yumiko Yokozeki
Director, UNESCO Institute for Capacity-Building in Africa

Panel Discussion: 

Ms. Mary Wanjiru Kangethe
Director, Education Programme
Kenya National Commission for UNESCO (KNATCOM)

Ms. Vera Leal
Arigatou International Geneva

Mr. Mohamed Said Abdi
Director of Training and Foundation
Somalia National University (SNU)

Q&A and Discussion  30 minutes

Webinar Moderator: Eyerusalem Azmeraw, UNESCO IICBA
Chat Moderator: Eleonora Mura, Arigatou International Geneva



Living together in peace: a celebration of education, citizen engagement and prevention of violent extremism

International day of leaving together

Faced with the COVID 19 pandemic, our interdependence and ability to unite to solve a collective problem together has never been more apparent. Tomorrow, we commemorate the International Day of Living Together in Peace, adopted by the United Nations in 2017 to celebrate a world that ”promotes peace, tolerance, inclusion, understanding and solidarity” (UN Resolution 72/130). On this day, we look to West and Central Africa and highlight the work of governments and partners to sustain efforts to live together in peace through education.

In West and Central Africa, climate change, poverty, gender inequality, political instability and unemployment threaten peaceful co-existence and sustainable development. As of early 2020, 12 of 24 states in the region experience armed conflict resulting in widespread forced displacement, both within the affected countries and their neighbors. This in turn amounts to almost 2 million refugees, 7 million internally displaced persons and 1.8 million people at risk of statelessness (UNHCR Regional Office for West and Central Africa).

Of the ten worst conflict-affected countries to be a child, according to a Save the Children report, four are in West and Central Africa: the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali and Nigeria.

In this context, violent extremism is on the rise. According to the UNODC, violent extremism “includes forms of ideologically motivated violence” which can include “distort[ion] and exploit[ation] of religious beliefs, ethnic differences and political ideologies.”

As the threat increases, violence seriously affects educational opportunities: threats to education personnel and attacks on schools deny children their right to education and put them at increased risk of abuse, violence and exploitation.

As of February 2020, before most education systems closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, 3,641 schools were closed due to violence and insecurity in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger alone, affecting nearly 700,000 children and 20,000 teachers (Education Clusters Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger). These numbers have only increased due to COVID-19 containment measures: more than 128 million children are currently out of school across the region. While at home, young people spend more time on the internet, which renders them even more susceptible to the risks of online radicalization.

How can we promote living together and prevent violent extremism?

Learning to live together entails a development and understanding of ourselves and others, which leads to interdependence and peaceful, conjoint and intelligent responses to the world’s challenges. It contributes to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 4.7 (all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development) and to all other SDGs.

These values are shared by the international community, including the members of La Francophonie, which adopted the Yerevan Francophone Appeal for Living Together in 2018.

As a central component of SDG target 4.7, global citizenship education integrates the principles of living together and teaches learners to respond to global and local issues through the spirit of cooperation and interdependence. Respect for diversity and different identities – of gender, religion, culture and others - as well as an ability to think critically, lead learners to respond to the challenges they face with empathy to build a sustainable world. This kind of respect and understanding is needed now more than ever as we work to respond to a global pandemic in solidarity with one another.

Global citizenship education has been central to the response to violent extremism in the region, in particular through an approach known as prevention of violent extremism through education (PVE-E). While education alone cannot prevent violent extremism, it can limit the spread of extremist ideologies, discourse and propaganda by providing individuals with the skills to challenge them.

Education has the power to teach the tenants of peace, non-violence, peaceful conflict resolution, information and online literacy and social and emotional skills. When students are educated and equipped with the skills to resist harmful ideologies, the spread of extremism becomes limited.

Learning to live together and PVE-E also promote transformation. This can mean a transformation of one’s self, community, society and even the world. Transformation occurs through action, and learners should be encouraged to take action to create change. Transformative pedagogy and participatory, student-centered approaches can be utilized in the classroom, as opposed to rote learning or memorization, to nurture active, critical and resilient citizens.

It is important to support both learners and teachers when it comes to transformative pedagogies. Teachers need support in the form of pre- and in-service training to equip themselves with new approaches and networking as they apply new tools in the classroom.

The Learning to Live Together (LTLT) task team has worked with the ministries of education in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Senegal to promote these pedagogical shifts through adaptation to national contexts, training trainers and teachers, following up and support and involving the community, including parents and families, in these changes.

Transformational pedagogy can be applied to education at different levels and across disciplines. This is the case in Mauritania, where the education ministries and other line ministries are working with UNESCO to introduce the pedogogical approach into literacy and non-formal education programs and within subjects such as civic education, science, Islamic education, Arabic and French.

In the COVID-19 era, it is also important that existing PVE-E projects be adjusted to allow online or mobile phone programming. For example, UNHCR supports refugee teachers, students and host communities to continue distance activities on prevention and awareness-raising by organizing online training and activities, including through WhatsApp groups.

The LTLT team’s members exchange knowledge and experience among themselves and with government focal points working on PVE-E. Practitioners working on learning to live together can find critical resources in both French and English, links and a community of fellow professionals at vivons-ensemble.net.

 

You can also find this article on the website of the Global Partnership for Education.



Webinar: How Can Education respond to learning needs during the COVID-19, including fostering resilience and children’s well-being during the pandemic

Wébinaire 1 IICBA

Find the video of this webinar here.

This Wednesday, May 13, from 1 to 2:30 pm (UTC), the IICBA invites you to attend the first of a serie of four webinars on transformational pedagogy, peace and resilience in times of global health crisis.

Date: Wednesday, 13 May, 2020
Time: 13h00 – 14h30 TU
Duration: 90 minutes

Subscription: https://tinyurl.com/ydgoh4ly or https://bit.ly/3ft0Xg6

While the education sector has responded to school closures by setting up online learning spaces and other innovative practices to support home-schooling, half of all students of the world are currently out of the classroom without access to a computer, and more than 40% of children have no internet access at home.  Many children are being left behind with increasing disparities in access to education and learning, compromising their safety and well-being.

Education should respond to the needs of the learners, empower children to be resilient and equip them to cope with the context around them and positively respond to the challenges they face.

The pandemic can present opportunities to empower learners to meaningfully address some of the issues at hand. In fact, while COVID 19 has put pressure on the education and has left millions out of school, the pandemic has also shown our interconnectedness and the power of human solidarity.  Educators can build on this as a learning opportunity and support learners to strengthen their sense of belonging to a larger community and encourage active engagement for community transformation and for reaching out to the most vulnerable.

However, whereas the world rallies to meet the challenge posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, extremist groups including those from West Africa have continued to carry out large-scale attacks and conduct cross-border activities. There is a risk the current situation might undermine gains on peacebuilding and prevention of violent extremism including those made by the education sector.

How can the education sector and teachers as first-line responders support learners to cope with these challenges arising during and after the pandemic and the effects on their socio-emotional, mental and spiritual well-being?

This webinar will reflect on how educators can empower and transform learners responding to the emerging ethical demands in the era of COVID-19. This webinar is part of a learning module that UNESCO IICBA is offering for educators to support learners during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The objectives of the webinar are to:

  • Discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the educational needs of children and youth in Africa ;
  • Identify how the education sector and teachers as first-line responders can support learners to cope with and positively respond to the ethical challenges arising during and after the pandemic and its effects on children’s socio-emotional, mental and spiritual well-being ;
  • Provide recommendations for educators to continue addressing the needs for peace and resilience building and prevention of violent extremism in the current context.

When the schools re-open, it will be critical to provide dialogue opportunities for learners to share how they feel, their experiences, and reflect on what happened and on the ethical challenges their communities and the world are facing. It is equally important for schools to offer spaces for learners to imagine alternatives to contribute to transform their communities.

Agenda and speakers:

Welcome Remarks and Introduction of Theme - 5minutes

Dr. Yumiko Yokozeki
Director, UNESCO Institute for Capacity-Building in Africa

Key Note Speech – 10 minutes

Ms. Ann Therese Ndong-Jatta
Director  UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa

Panel Discussion - 20minutes

Ms. Maria Lucia Uribe
Director Arigatou International Geneva

Mr. Peter Tabichi (TBC)
Teacher,  Keriko Secondary School, Kenya
Winner of the 2019 Global Teacher Prize

Questions/Answers and Discussion - 40 minutes



Webinars: How Transformative Pedagogy and Fostering Ethical reflections can support teachers during Covid-19 for resilience and prevention of violent extremism

IICBA Webinars

The UNESCO International Institute for Capacity-Building in Africa (IICBA) invites you in a series of four webinars, every Wednesday in May, on how transformational pedagogy and promotion of ethical reflection can help teachers during Covid-19 for resilience and prevention of violent extremism through education.

As close to 90% of the world’s schoolchildren are not attending school at present. While partial or total confinement is the norm in many countries, the risk of violence at home is increased by several factors, such as higher levels of stress, school and business closures, loss of income and economic vulnerability, family confinement, isolation and loss of access to support systems.

Teachers are now called, more than ever, to reinvent how learning takes place and ensure that it reaches children in inclusive, meaningful and quality ways, addressing not only the curricular areas but also the emotional and mental stress and uncertainty that children struggle with these days and that influence how learning occurs.

How can teachers be prepared to respond to the challenges of child protection and to empower children for a changing world?

How can teachers help re-invent learning and use online tools to engage children in meaningful educational activities?

And how can teachers support parents to engage and learn with their children while at home?

Transformative Pedagogy can support teachers to conduct child-centred learning that helps empowering children to reflect critically about their reality, become aware of their individual and collective responsibilities, empathize with others, and are equipped to positively respond locally in a global context.

Transformative pedagogy provides support to reflect on the contextual issues that children are facing and helps building safe learning environments for dialogue and sharing around those issues.

Based on the Transformative Pedagogy approach to Peace, Resilience Building and Prevention of Violent Extremism, educators will be introduced to how fostering ethical reflections and using transformative pedagogy and can help protect, support and empower learners during these challenging times.

Fostering ethical reflections during the COVID-19 pandemic becomes essential to reflect on the ethical responsibilities and implications for children and youth in the global pandemic. During these times, it is fundamental to reflect on the implications of the global pandemic on the education systems and focus on fostering ethical reflections in young people about their responsibilities as global citizens and in their relations with one another so as to prevent violence.

Join the online meetings on Wednesdays 13, 20, 27 May, and 3 June 2020, from 13:00 to 14:30 GMT.

Wednesday, May 13th
How Can Education respond to learning needs during the COVID-19, including fostering resilience and children’s well-being during the pandemic

Find the video of this webinar here.

Wednesday, May 20th
The role of teachers during COVID-19 and how transformational pedagogy can support learning needs during and after the pandemic.

Wednesday, May 27th
How transformative pedagogy can respond to learning needs during the COVID-19 and support the wellbeing and resilience of children during and after the pandemic

Wednesday, June 3rd
Ethical Implications for education systems and impact on children and youth during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic

These four webinars aim to :

  • Identify ways to create safe, positive and empowering alternative learning environments and platforms during school closure using Transformative Pedagogy
  • Strengthen children's ability to respond to the worlds’ ethical demands during COVID-19 Pandemic
  • Explore ways educators can support and influence children’s well-being during the COVID-19 Pandemic and the closure of schools so as to foster resilience

For more information: IICBA website



Thwarting violent extremism: a new approach


Countering or preventing violent extremism (CVE or PVE) is a risk averse field buffeted by cautious politics and frightening violent extremist organizations (VEOs). Many donors and practitioners skirt danger by employing development approaches to thwart extremism, addressing issues like youth unemployment, poverty and unequal access to education – even as research makes plain that they are not the main reasons why a young person joins a VEO.

Such imprecise efforts make impact assessment difficult. But a second evaluation challenge is even more formidable: it is virtually impossible to prove that any initiative prevented a young person from joining a VEO.

Several members of local organizations in East Africa shared with me the best indicator of effectiveness that I have come across. They told me that they know their initiatives are interfering with VEO activities when VEO officials secure their mobile phone numbers and start texting them, remarking on where they live and, sometimes, where their children go to school. Authentic CVE/PVE work is as dangerous as it is difficult.

How can states and agencies counter violent extremism, much less prevent it? Before sharing some ideas for next steps, it’s important to get the basics right. Learn more...

 

Source : Alliance for Peacebuilding



A pilot training program for Young Volunteers on Peace and Global Citizenship


From December 6-8, 2019, a training on "Education for Peace and Global Citizenship of Adolescents, Youth in Senegal and the sub-region" took place in Guédiawaye, a suburb of Dakar. 

The initiative for this activity came from BanlieueUP, an association of young male and female volunteers, committed to contributing to the socio-economic development of the suburbs of Dakar.

"The vision of BanlieueUP is to contribute to ensuring that suburbs become spaces of well-being and prosperity for their populations by 2030." El Hadji Abou Gueye, President of BanlieueUP. 

Within the framework of Target 4.7 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, UNESCO Dakar and IFEF (Institut de la francophonie pour l’education) joined with BanlieueUP to organize a pilot training event with the aims of increasing understanding of the local and global environmental and social challenges facing youth and providing them with the information and tools they will need for becoming agents of peace and global citizenship and leaders in their own communities. 

Out of 200 candidates, between the ages of 18 and 35, 32 were selected to the pilot training event, based upon their motivation towards deepening their knowledge of the pressing issues facing youth and their commitment towards building networks in order to take action in their communities and in Senegal. The selection also sought gender-equality and resulted in a final group composed of 16 women and 16 men.

The event’s program included skills training, discussion, a slam competition and planning of further action.

Self-awareness, knowledge and skills for sustainable development

Throughout the training, the participants were encouraged to speak-up and share their knowledge and ideas. 

“Only by listening to the concerns of these young people can we develop global citizenship and sustainable development education contents and methodologies that are contextualised and respond to their needs and to the specific forms of exclusion that many of them experience.” Mathilde Stoleroff, UNESCO Dakar

 On the first day, participants were given training in competencies on how to:

  • Speak in public;
  • Work effectively with diverse groups;
  • Build networks;
  • Provide and receive constructive criticism;
  • ​Adhere to rules of coexistence and mutual respect; 

Activity “turn the blanket” pushed the groups to identify a leader and to work collaboratively and efficiently in a group as quickly as possible to reach a common goal. 

“This activity touched me a lot because it reminded me that what one can do alone, one can do it even better together.” Awa Diatta, 24 years, Guédiaweye

The importance of harmony between humans and nature in West Africa

Throughout the second day, participants engaged in discussions of the cultural, historic and scientific relationships between humans and nature in West Africa. They highlighted how the interaction between humans and their natural environment is expressed in local languages, cultural and spiritual practices and the discussion was enhanced by the participants’ special ability to relate issues to their social backgrounds.

Hearing the voice of the youth through Slam

Poetry slam, an art form combining traditional poetry with story-telling, songwriting and rhythm, is a powerful awareness-raising tool that enables urban youth to express themselves.

As part of the training, participants held a slam competition that resulted in beautiful and powerful performances. The creators of the 15 most-voted slams will take part in a workshop to create a slam that will come to represent the vision of peace and global citizenship of the 32 participants.

Action now

The third day was dedicated to triggering action. Each one of the participants spoke about existing environmental challenges in their own neighbourhoods and, together, they found possible solutions to promote change in their communities.

Following this training, participants have already formed a group, “Servir ensemble” and drafted an action plan, to be implemented by February 2020, to create a small public green space where young people can gather near a school in the Dakar suburb area of Pikine.

The ultimate objective of the initiative is to create a movement of young volunteers for peace and global citizenship in the West African region. Various other training sessions on rule of law and global citizenship are envisaged for 2020.

 



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