Stakeholders in the security and education sectors have identified creative education as a viable tool for preventing ideological radicalisation which often leads to violent extremism.
This view was posited yesterday at the opening ceremony of a five-day SAVE Project Methodology Workshop held in Abuja.
In his keynote address, the National Security Adviser, Col Sambo Dasuki represented by ONSA’s director of Policy and Strategy, Ambassador Lasehinde, explained that in order to address the threat of extremism, ONSA had to broaden its national security approach by placing aspects of national life that had not previously been seen as national security priorities high on its agenda.
Dasuki said the best weapon to counter the very narrow perspective of terrorists was the ability to think and envision an alternative pathway based on logical reasoning.
“A child must have a strong sense of reasoning to be able to mentally challenge a message no matter how authoritative the source if it does not sound right. Boko Haram has exploited gaps in our education approach where children do not get taught to think to convince them that there is actually provision in the Holy Koran that allows for killing of innocent civilians.
“Thus it has become imperative that we revisit the purpose of our education system and assess whether in fact it is achieving what it set out to accomplish. Namely the production of well rounded children, who are problem solvers as well as creative thinkers, with a sense of purpose, civic responsibility and patriotism,” Dasuki said.
The workshop, which aimed at developing capacity among school teachers in the areas of creative teaching methodology and better teacher-pupil engagement, was organised in collaboration with the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, and the Australian Embassy.
The SAVE Methodology Workshop is part of activities under the Blue Ribbon Initiative, an education interventionist programme initiated by the Office of the National Security Adviser under Nigeria’s Countering Violent Extremism, CVE, Programme.
Welcoming the participants, ONSA’s director of Behavioural Analysis and Strategic Communication, Dr Fatima Akilu stated that although education was not the core responsibility of ONSA, a review of Nigeria’s security approach revealed the critical role education plays in countering violent extremism.
Australian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Jon Richardson in his goodwill message praised the Nigerian government for its effort at stemming the tide of terrorism through the soft approach under the CVE Programme.
He noted that radicalisation was a global challenge facing many countries, including Australia, noting that Australia was pleased to provide support for the SAVE Project to allow children acquire the kind of creative education which would mould them into productive assets to the society.

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