Second-cycle institutions could be potential target for extremists – the NCCE warns

The National Commission of Civic Education has called on authorities to be cautious and implement strategies that can help students at second-cycle institutions detect, prevent, and contain violent extremism.

According to the commission, the recent riots at various schools have exposed the vulnerability of the schools and students and have given room for such extremists to strike when found in the country.

“You will all agree with me that the recent riots at our second-cycle institutions speak volumes and can be used as initiating points for these extremists. And once these people notice that our students are used to violence or rioting, they can begin recruiting them. So, authorities ought to up their game and begin to implement educational strategies to that effect.”

Speaking at a sensitization program held at the CK Tedam University of Technology and Applied Sciences in Navrongo, the Upper East Regional Director of the Commission, Mawuli Agbenu, added that aside from the secondary schools, the tertiary institutions needed to devise mechanisms to deal with the same issues.

“As a commission, we cannot say we have records of extremism in the region or country yet, but we can also not deny the fact that we are not a step closer to such either. Because if you look at our 2021 and 2023 reports, all the factors (corruption, economic woes, and unequal distribution of resources) that are fueling such activities in our neighbouring countries like Burkina Faso and others are the same here in the country.”

“So, we need to begin drawing practical strategies on how the youth, students, and people as a whole can detect, prevent, and contain violent extremism when it comes into contact,” he stressed.

Touching on the programme, he said it was designed with funding from the European Union to sensitize youth, including students from secondary and tertiary institutions on ways to detect, prevent and contain violent extremists in various settings.

“Of course, you know in the region, we don’t have those kinds of rioting issues too much in the tertiary institutions as we have in the secondary level, however, we know that the same youth, most of them are young people who hail from various communities that can be potential victims if they are not equip with the knowledge of how to detect, prevent and contain violent extremism.”

He, however, noted that the programme targets eight regions including the Upper East, Upper West, North-East, Northern, Savannah, Bono, Bono-East, and Oti Regions.

One of the resource persons for the programme, Professor David Millar, Vice Chancellor for the Millar Institute for Transdisciplinary and Development Studies also called on the participants to be vigilant, and always report to the right authorities when they suspect ill activities of unfamiliar faces in their communities.

Some of the participants who were excited about the initiative assured the commission that they will be vigilant and embraced the hashtag #See something, Say something# campaign at their homes and campuses.

Source: a1radioonline


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