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Higher Education Teachers from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia Get Trained on Transformative Pedagogy for Peace and Resilience Building and Prevention of Violent Extremism

A second round of the advanced online training of trainers on “Design and Delivery” for higher education teachers was held on 15 – 18 February 2021. This time, the workshop was carried out in French and Arabic language, reaching 25 participants from the northern African countries of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.

These online workshops are being organized together with the UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA), in the framework of the Higher Education on Peace and Resilience Building and Prevention of Violent Extremism project.

The project aims to support countries to cascade a transformative pedagogy approach for peace and resilience building, seeking to prevent violent extremism in northern Africa. In this light, participants worked at their implementation plans at the country level but also at strengthening their skills to deliver training sessions, integrating a transformative pedagogy approach.

 “I realized how important it is to understand violence and to understand how hidden forms of violence can affect the learners. Sometimes as a teacher you feel that you have solved a conflict in the school between learners, but still, there is a tension, and this is because some of the structural and cultural factors causing violence are affecting the lives of learners at a deeper level, I feel more empowered to understand these types of violence now,” stated a participant from Algeria.

The participants had an opportunity to work together with teachers from the other participant countries and learn from each other. Learners’ agency and how to foster it, was one of the topics most discussed.

“Normally as a teacher I have the power in the classroom, but now I see how empowering learners can make them feel more connected and make the learning more relevant and closer to their needs,” shared a participant from Tunisia.

Each country will organize national training workshops in March 2021. Some will be face-to-face and some virtual. In some countries, the cascading will involve Teacher Training Colleges, in some context UNESCO associated schools, and in some cases, it will benefit teachers in the field.

“Now I see how crucial it is to support learners in coming up with projects for engaging with the community, I have already been in contact with stakeholders in my community and civil society organizations to invite them to come and share what they do to inspire the learners and make them feel more connected with their community,” said a participant from Morocco.

Arigatou International Geneva has been partnering with UNESCO IICBA since 2017, providing technical expertise. This project is supported by the Government of Japan, and it builds on previous phases including the Horn of Africa in 2017, the Sahel region in 2018, and Higher Education in 2019.

We thank UNESCO-IICBA and the Government of Japan for inviting us to participate in this project, and the participants for their enthusiasm, their drive, and their commitment to bring peace through education.