A bus ferrying national examinations in Mandera was hit by an IED device killing three innocent civilians on the spot. Due to this incident, the exam had to be halted and it was Al- Shabaab’s intention. The terrorist group has been trying to make it impossible for students in conflict areas to attend school since they know that through education many students will learn the right morals, know how to tell what is right from wrong, and get to know how to read and self interpret messages without the misguided interpretations that come from radicalisers.
Education will help students and civilians unlearn the wrong messages interpreted to them, unlearn the wrong beliefs sold to them, become self-aware of their surroundings, stand for what is right and also extend the same knowledge to those who are not educated.
Terrorists take advantage of civilians illiteracy and use this as their means of spreading propaganda against religion, against the government and ensure that they spread improper messages, making people engage in matters that are against humanity in the name of “fighting for religion” or “fighting against oppression” which in all instances is a false narrative for them to gain power.
The government has a free education project, which hopes to reach as many citizens as possible, both young and old so as to ensure that illiteracy is minimised. Citizens should take advantage of this project and enroll in basic education, enroll their young ones who are the future generation of the country who will in turn educate a “whole” society thus reducing the chances of radicalization and recruitment into terrorism and violent extremism.
We need to join hands as citizens and take advantage of the government’s free education project, have basic education that helps us read and understand what the words say, without unnecessary need for interpreters who will only take advantage of illiteracy to spread the wrong message.
An educated man is an educated village, thus an educated community, and this ends up in an educated citizenry. For us to win against terrorism, we have to embrace education.