Education key in fight against extremism, radical ideologies: youth advocate

Education is key to counter extremism and radical ideologies in Southeast Asia, a Sierra Leonean youth advocate for global education said here.

"Education is a powerful tool to counter extremism as it teaches children to think rationally and to think for themselves," Chernor Bah, a member of the UN Global Education First Initiative's Youth Advocacy Group, said on the sidelines of the 12th Borneo Global Issues Conference at the International School Brunei.

Bah said there has been strong advancements of extremist ideology in recent years, particularly in Southeast Asia.

To fight against radical ideologies, education must first be available to every child and ensure that these children stay in school.

"The school system must also be structured in a way that is responsive and attractive for every student to go to school," he added.

Bah said school dropouts do not deplore school but instead, the system is made against them.

"For every dropout who says they hate school, I'll bet you that there are a lot of things in school that he likes," he said.

"Not every child can excel under conventional school systems and it is up to the system to be conducive to producing artists, musicians and writers," he said.

The 12th edition of the annual student-run Borneo Global Issues Conference kicked off on Friday. Twenty schools from three districts in Brunei are participating this year.

Students will engage in discussions and debates centering around the theme of Achieving Universal Primary Education.

Source: Asia Pacific

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