Trade Council ‘Education’ annual meeting: What role for teachers in the prevention of radicalisation?

Today, CESI’s Trade council ‘Education, Training and Research’ convened for its annual meeting in Brussels. The Trade council, CESI’s main members’ forum to discuss EU level education policies, deliberated on a key challenge that teachers and educators face at work: How to implement the Paris Declaration of March 17 2015 on the promotion of citizenship and common values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination through education?

Trade Council ‘Education’ annual meeting: What role for teachers in the prevention of radicalisation?

Youri Devuyst, Policy officer in the European Commission’s DG for Education and culture (EAC), gave a kick-off speech on how the EU can support teachers in their role as educators that want to help achieve the objectives laid down the Paris Declaration – an EU level roadmap for tolerance and non-discrimination put down in the immediate aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks and as a tool to bring down and prevent radicalisation in the future.

Preventing radicatilisation requires more civic education – and simultaneous support for teachers

Mr Devuyst stressed that the Commission intends to take on a responsible role when it comes to the promotion of civic education, training in media literacy and the teaching of common values of freedom, tolerance and non-discrimination. Underscoring the role of the Commission as a facilitator of an effective exchange of existing information as an implementation vehicle in this regard, he noted that more can be done to ensure that best practices (such as those outlined recently by the in the Network of experts on social aspects of education and training) actually arrive at the teachers and in the classrooms. 

Noting that civic education plays a vital role in the socialisation of citizens, Trade council members highlighted that in their view education systems should not only be exclusively tailored to teach the technical skills allegedly needed on the labour markets. In this regard, they welcomed the Commission’s stated focus on civic education to prevent radicalisation.

Confsalform’s Scholarjobs project: A best practice employability programme

The Trade council also discussed an employability programme of CESI’s Italian member organisation Confsalform: The Scholarsjob project, which aims to provide dual apprenticeships for students from the age of 15 independently of their study programme. Salvatore Piroscia from Confsalform presented project as a best practice example where students develop skills to analyse, evaluate and improve company profiles in social media networks. Mr Piroscia reported that the project has been a success so far, having involved around 1000 students and delivered training for 200 teachers. He announced that Confsalform is now looking to collaborate with partners from other EU Member States to give a European dimension to the project and carry it beyond Italy. 

Picture: Secretary General Klaus Heeger, Trade council President Claude Heiser. © CESI 2016