First Steering Committee Meeting of GA-PVE-E Project
The first Steering Committee meeting of the Gendered Approach to Preventing Violent Extremism through Education (GA-PVE-E) project chaired by H.E Dr. Falah Al Qaisi, Deputy Minister of Education was organized on 11 August 2021 in Baghdad. The meeting was attended by H.E Mr. Ulric Shannon, Ambassador of Canada to Iraq and Prof. Dr.Tariq Ali Jassim, Director of Education and Culture Office, Prime Minister’s Advisory Commission and the representatives from Al Anbar and Ninewa governorates. UNESCO Iraq Office was represented by Mr. Santosh Khatri, Chief of Education.
Building and extending on the foundation of the previous two projects implemented with the support from the Governments of Japan and the Netherlands from 2018 – 2020, the project aims to strengthen the capacities of education actors in 250 schools in Al Anbar and Ninewa governorates to cultivate resilience against violent extremism.
The meeting brought together representatives of ZOA International, Iraq Institute for Development, Directorates of Education in Al Anbar and Ninewa and representatives of relevant General Directorates of the Ministry of Education. The partners reviewed the progress of the project since inception and discussed challenges and reaffirmed their commitments to achieve the expected results of the project.
In their opening remarks, H.E the Deputy Minister of Education and the Representative of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Commission reaffirmed the urgency of the project in trying to address violent extremism in Al Anbar, Ninewa, and hopefully the whole of Iraq and beyond. They reiterated the importance of the project and its participatory approaches of co-created with the Government, and most importantly, the beneficiaries on the ground. They also repeated their commitment to ensure that the project receives the best support possible from the Government.
H.E Mr. Ulric Shannon, the Ambassador of Canada to Iraq, a fluent Arabic speaker, shared his government’s satisfaction with the partnership and the progress, and emphasized the importance of the project for the Government of Canada. “The results of this project will go into the Government of Canada’s G-7 report”, he mentioned.
“Your excellency, as you know, the project is a part of our flagship, Reviving the Spirit of Mosul Initiative, and as it is important in Ottawa, UNESCO Headquarters regularly enquire about the project,” Mr. Santosh Khatri, responded to the Ambassador, highlighting the importance of the project in Baghdad, Ottawa and Paris.
Following the opening remarks, the partners of the project were introduced. Ms. Esther Grisnich, Country Director, ZOA International, and Mr. Ayad Salih, Managing Director, IID, made a joint presentation giving an overview of their organizations and the status of the progress in the field in Mosul, Al Ramadi, and Al Falluja. Professor Kelsey Shanks, from the UNESCO Centre, Ulster University, and Team Leader overseeing research and development of the materials gave an overview of how the project conceptualizes PVE-E and presented the findings of the just concluded consultations in Al Anbar and Ninewa. She concluded by sharing the status of materials development.
After clarifying the challenges presented by the pandemic, and which delayed implementation, the project team presented the progress since March 2020.
Successfully identified implementation and research partners: ZOA and IID (implementation), and Ulster University (research).
6 training programmes on PVE-E for primary schools revised and updated.
15 FGDs and KIIs successfully conducted for more than 146 parents and teachers from the most conflict affected districts of Al Anbar and Ninewa governorates to inform the development of new PVE-E training materials for secondary schools.
Successfully completed the first phase of the ‘Short Lessons for Peace Campaign’ and reached 25,000 learners on social media
51 master trainers trained by UNESCO and the Ministry of Education on PVE-E
Successfully completed capacity building activities for 200 teachers. Led by UNESCO-trained master trainers from the General Directorate of Education, Ninewa and Al Anbar, the interactive, play-based sessions have cultivated teachers’ capacities on Preventing Violent Extremism through Education (PVE-E): from what it is, its context-specific drivers to concrete play-base activities to cultivate resilience against it in their classrooms.
Completed 2-day meeting to review and update ‘Guide for Safe Learning Environments’ to be applied in 250 schools in Al Anbar and Ninewa governorates.
Successfully trained 29 school principals and administrators (14 females, 15 males) on PVE-E from the same schools as the teachers in Ninewa Governorate.
To be completed by December 2021:
Complete training programme for education actors in secondary schools.
Complete training programme for student leaders in higher education.
Finalize and apply ‘Guide for Safe and Peaceful Learning Environments’.
Capacities building activities completed for more than 3,000 education actors (teachers, parents, school principals and other administrators).
Completed 250 PSS sessions for teachers.
Launch the 2nd phase of ‘Short Lessons for Peace Campaign’, reach and engage 10,000 learners on social media.
The progress report was discussed and suggestions on e-learning, COVID mitigation plans and others were made and noted for integration by the project team. Ms. Aseel Yaseen Al Abady, Director General, General Directorate of Teachers’ Preparation, Training and Educational Development, Ministry of Education, shared experiences from the training activities led by members of her team from Ninewa and Al Anbar as well as Baghdad. She also reiterated her commitment to work with the UNESCO and partners to achieve the objectives of the project as she has done so far.
H.E Dr. Falah Al Qaisi, Deputy Minister for Administrative affairs, Ministry of Education, closed the Steering Committee meeting by thanking the Government of Canada for supporting this urgent project and appreciated the support of UNESCO and partners in the implementation process. He assured continued support from the Ministry of Education for successful implementation of the project.