The present Manual’s focus on violent extremism is related to the important role the teachers and schools play in the safety of children and youth.
This publication was prepared with the assistance of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in cooperation with the European Foundation for Democracy (EFD).
The present “Prevention of Violent Extremism: Teacher’s Guide” is completely in line with the “2015-2020 Strategy on Prevention of Violent Extremism and Radicalization Leading to Terrorism” from September 2015⁶ and its Action Plan. The key objectives of the present Manual are to raise the awareness of institutions working in this field, foster cooperation with the community, and build institutional capacities to beter address the challenges they face. In particular, the present Manual is linked to the “Strategic Objective 1 – Early Identification – of Causes, Factors and Target Groups” of the Strategy. Since the Strategy emphasizes the need for teachers, pedagogues, and psychologists to involve in the early identification of radicalization among students, the present Manual seeks ways to serve this purpose.
As far as the teachers are concerned, the relevance of the present Manual’s focus on violent extremism is related to the important role the teachers and schools play in the safety of children and youth. Accordingly, they are in a key position to protect students from the dangers of extremist narratives, as well. Helping protect students from extremist influences and radicalization is an important part of the role teachers play in protecting their students in general. Moreover, radicalization and violent extremism have a detrimental effect on students, families, and communities. Children and youth are particularly vulnerable to radicalization and many seek answers to questions about identity, faith, and affiliation, while also searching different adventures and pleasures in life. Extremist groups, whether religious, political, nationalistic, or other persuasion, claim to have the answers and pretend at promising a sense of identity to vulnerable students. Although rare, even very young children can be exposed to extremism, both inside and outside their home, or through the internet, via videos and games.