Showing posts tagged as "Radicalisation"

Showing posts tagged Radicalisation

23 Jun
Education Reform in Pakistan
Islamabad/Brussels  |   23 Jun 2014
To combat religious extremism and sectarian violence, Pakistan must reform its education sector by boosting resources to public schools and updating the school curriculum to improve quality and remove divisive and discriminatory narratives.
Long underfunded, Pakistan’s system of public education has been further devastated by militant violence and natural disasters. Passed in 2010, the eighteenth constitutional amendment mandated compulsory education for all children between the ages of five and sixteen and devolved much of the education system’s management from the centre to the provinces. But more than nine million children do not receive a primary and secondary education, and quality of instruction varies widely between both genders and rural and urban areas. Madrasas and religious schools, many of which propagate religious extremism and sectarian hatred, seek to fill the gaps. In its latest briefing, Education Reform in Pakistan, the International Crisis Group examines the dysfunctional public education system and underlines the need to reform the curriculum and hold schools and teachers to acceptable standards.
The report’s major findings and recommendations are:
Although its law requires Pakistan to provide free and compulsory education to all children between the ages of five and sixteen, millions are still out of school, the second highest number in the world.
The quality of education in the public school sector remains abysmal, failing to prepare a fast growing population for the job market, while a deeply flawed curriculum fosters religious intolerance and xenophobia.
Poorly regulated madrasas and religious schools are filling the gap of the dilapidated public education sector and contributing to religious extremism and sectarian violence
The state must urgently reverse decades of neglect by increasing expenditure on the grossly-underfunded education system – ensuring that international aid to this sector is supplementary to, rather than a substitute for, the state’s financial commitment – and opt for meaningful reform of the curriculum, bureaucracy, teaching staff and methodologies.
“Before the eighteenth amendment was passed, school curriculums reflected an overly centralised state’s priorities, emphasising national cohesion – within a rigid ideological framework – at the expense of regional and religious diversity” says Samina Ahmed, South Asia Project Director and Senior Asia Adviser. “Provincial governments can now reform deeply flawed curriculums that contribute to political, regional and religious intolerance, but there is also the risk that education programs will differ radically among provinces”.
“Pakistan needs to take bold steps to tackle its education crisis”, says Jonathan Prentice, Acting Asia Program Director. “Millions of children are still out of school, and the quality of education for those enrolled remains poor. This is more than a question of the rights of children, vital though that is; ultimately, it goes directly to the state’s ability to combat extremism. Decades of neglect can only be reversed by overhauling Pakistan’s academic curriculum and education bureaucracy”.
FULL REPORT

Education Reform in Pakistan

Islamabad/Brussels  |   23 Jun 2014

To combat religious extremism and sectarian violence, Pakistan must reform its education sector by boosting resources to public schools and updating the school curriculum to improve quality and remove divisive and discriminatory narratives.

Long underfunded, Pakistan’s system of public education has been further devastated by militant violence and natural disasters. Passed in 2010, the eighteenth constitutional amendment mandated compulsory education for all children between the ages of five and sixteen and devolved much of the education system’s management from the centre to the provinces. But more than nine million children do not receive a primary and secondary education, and quality of instruction varies widely between both genders and rural and urban areas. Madrasas and religious schools, many of which propagate religious extremism and sectarian hatred, seek to fill the gaps. In its latest briefing, Education Reform in Pakistan, the International Crisis Group examines the dysfunctional public education system and underlines the need to reform the curriculum and hold schools and teachers to acceptable standards.

The report’s major findings and recommendations are:

  • Although its law requires Pakistan to provide free and compulsory education to all children between the ages of five and sixteen, millions are still out of school, the second highest number in the world.
  • The quality of education in the public school sector remains abysmal, failing to prepare a fast growing population for the job market, while a deeply flawed curriculum fosters religious intolerance and xenophobia.
  • Poorly regulated madrasas and religious schools are filling the gap of the dilapidated public education sector and contributing to religious extremism and sectarian violence
  • The state must urgently reverse decades of neglect by increasing expenditure on the grossly-underfunded education system – ensuring that international aid to this sector is supplementary to, rather than a substitute for, the state’s financial commitment – and opt for meaningful reform of the curriculum, bureaucracy, teaching staff and methodologies.

“Before the eighteenth amendment was passed, school curriculums reflected an overly centralised state’s priorities, emphasising national cohesion – within a rigid ideological framework – at the expense of regional and religious diversity” says Samina Ahmed, South Asia Project Director and Senior Asia Adviser. “Provincial governments can now reform deeply flawed curriculums that contribute to political, regional and religious intolerance, but there is also the risk that education programs will differ radically among provinces”.

“Pakistan needs to take bold steps to tackle its education crisis”, says Jonathan Prentice, Acting Asia Program Director. “Millions of children are still out of school, and the quality of education for those enrolled remains poor. This is more than a question of the rights of children, vital though that is; ultimately, it goes directly to the state’s ability to combat extremism. Decades of neglect can only be reversed by overhauling Pakistan’s academic curriculum and education bureaucracy”.

FULL REPORT

9 Sep
Heed Syria refugee crisis | Lionel Beehner
The aerial footage of the Zaatari camp near Syria’s border with Jordan — row upon dusty row of squat trailers and tents as far as the eye can see, like a desert version of Oz — could become the iconic image of this war, along with photos of children gassed outside Damascus.
While the images of the chemical attacks capture the inhumanity of this conflict, the aerial shots of the camp capture the scale. More than 2 million Syrians have fled the war, half of them children, making it the world’s worst refugee crisis since Rwanda’s 1994 genocide. Left unaddressed, the crisis risks destabilizing Syria’s neighbors and disposing any hope of instilling peace and democracy in the region.
FULL ARTICLE (USA Today) 
Photo: DFID - UK Department for International Development/Flickr

Heed Syria refugee crisis | Lionel Beehner

The aerial footage of the Zaatari camp near Syria’s border with Jordan — row upon dusty row of squat trailers and tents as far as the eye can see, like a desert version of Oz — could become the iconic image of this war, along with photos of children gassed outside Damascus.

While the images of the chemical attacks capture the inhumanity of this conflict, the aerial shots of the camp capture the scale. More than 2 million Syrians have fled the war, half of them children, making it the world’s worst refugee crisis since Rwanda’s 1994 genocide. Left unaddressed, the crisis risks destabilizing Syria’s neighbors and disposing any hope of instilling peace and democracy in the region.

FULL ARTICLE (USA Today) 

Photo: DFID - UK Department for International Development/Flickr

25 Jan

Kenyan Somali Islamist Radicalisation

Africa Briefing N°85, 25 Jan 2012

Somalia’s growing Islamist radicalism is spilling over into Kenya. The militant Al-Shabaab movement has built a cross-border presence and a clandestine support network among Muslim populations in the north east and Nairobi and on the coast, and is trying to radicalise and recruit youth from these communities, often capitalising on long-standing grievances against the central state. This problem could grow more severe with the October 2011 decision by the Kenyan government to intervene directly in Somalia. Radicalisation is a grave threat to Kenya’s security and stability. Formulating and executing sound counter-radicalisation and de-radicalisation policies before it is too late must be a priority. It would be a profound mistake, however, to view the challenge solely through a counter-terrorism lens.

Kenya’s North Eastern Province emerged as a distinct administrative entity dominated by ethnic Somalis after independence. It is, by most accounts, the worst victim of unequal development. A history of insurgency, misrule and repression, chronic poverty, massive youth unemployment, high population growth, insecurity, poor infrastructure and lack of basic services, have combined to produce some of the country’s bleakest socio-economic and political conditions.

Two decades of conflict in neighbouring Somalia have also had a largely negative effect on the province and Kenyan Somalis. The long and porous border is impossible to police effectively. Small arms flow across unchecked, creating a cycle of demand that fuels armed criminality and encourages clans to rearm. Somali clan-identity politics, animosities and jingoism frequently spill over into the province, poisoning its politics, undermining cohesion and triggering bloody clashes. The massive stream of refugees into overflowing camps creates an additional strain on locals and the country. Many are now also moving to major urban centres, competing with other Kenyans for jobs and business opportunities triggering a strong official and public backlash against Somalis, both from Somalia and Kenya.

FULL BRIEFING (crisisgroup.org)