Peace-Building: Investing in Somalia’s Youth by Investing in Somali Teachers

Group photo of Workshop trainers and educators in Mogadishu, Somalia, 18 December 2017 

The Somalia Ministry of Education, Culture & Higher Education hosted a three-day training of trainers (ToTs) workshop for 35 educators with ministry staff, many secondary-school teachers, and a few upper-primary educators. The workshop was held from 18-20 December 2017 at Somali Academy Science and Technology, Mogadishu. The training focused on Transformative Pedagogy for Peace-Building in the Horn of Africa, a critical element of the UNESCO-International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA) Teacher Training and Development for Peace-Building in the Horn of Africa and Surrounding Countries project, with the support of UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa and funding from the Government of Japan.

High level delegates inspired participants through speeches at the opening and closing ceremonies: Deputy Minister of Education, Mr. Faysal Omer Gulied, Director General Mr. Xasm Maxamed Cali and Director of Teacher Training at Somalia National University, Mr. Mohamed Saeed Abdi.

The workshop engaged   teachers and trainers in why and how to teach peace-building through a dynamic method called Transformative Pedagogy. In Transformative Pedagogy, the teacher’s role is to foster the curiosity of learners rather than delivering knowledge and information. This active and reflective teaching method has a basic assumption that learners are intelligent, curious and knowledgeable human beings. Participants learned about understanding conflict and conflict analysis, transformative pedagogy methods, and tools to assess peace-building knowledge, skills and attitudes.  Following this training, each of the fifty teachers are expected to cascade the training to their institutions. Moreover, a policy dialogue is planned for early 2018 where challenges and recommendations on how to make teacher-training for peace-building sustainable within education policies, curriculum and practice will be discussed.

Promoting education and social-entrepreneurship as an alternative to being drawn to violent extremism, the workshop and the cascading to 1000 teachers will work to increase awareness of the importance of peace building  and  social stability in Somalia.