The teacher is a very important person in our society. Someone who is respected by all persons both young and old and also people who hold different roles in the community and at national levels. Teachers get involved in people’s lives from a very young age, as early as three years old thus they become very vital in a child’s growth and also are part of the nurturers in human upbringing. They are involved in children’s character development, social development, behaviour, beliefs, and knowledge from an educational point of view. In society majority or almost everyone has gone through the hands of a teacher, whether through a formal or informal setup.
Teachers have a great role to play in the fight against terrorism. During character development they are in a position to introduce deradicalization and counter violent extremism lessons at an early stage, thus ensuring children are aware of the effects of radicalization and terrorism at large. They should have counter-narratives against violent extremism, and continue to spread the right message, and equip their students with the right information concerning terrorism; including how to spot radicalizers and recruiters and actions to take towards informing the relevant authorities on the same. They should always expose the children to ideas and topics that they might otherwise not have come into contact with, they should be in a position to simplify the most complex concepts and help children understand them, and choose the right path.
Teachers should always be approachable not only to students but to the society at large; where even parents can easily approach them with any issues concerning their children, through that, it makes resolving issues fast and easy since where parents are unable to handle then the teacher can be in a position to save the situation as they may act as a community’s safe space.
Teachers provide the power of education to today’s youth thereby giving them the possibility of a bright future. They become role models and mentors of the next generation of leaders and serve as a very important source of information and advice to the next generation and it’s at this point that they can take advantage to pass the right information and guidance in matters of radicalization and violent extremism.
The teacher is the second parent and has the most influence on a human being’s development, they are a very powerful tool to spread peace and counter-narratives and this goes a long way in the fight against terrorism.
Let us use school and education as tools and weapons in countering violent extremism and terrorism.