On Wednesday the Global Price Academy shortlisted Ayub Mohamud and 9 other teachers from around the world, each of whom could be a winner of a $1 million reward. 

For teaching youths anti-extremism values, Ayub is a finalist for the 2016 Global Teacher Price which was launched last year to recognize teachers who truly appreciate their profession and are passionate about impacting knowledge and values in the lives of the younger generation. The winner of the award which is intended to emphasize the sensitive nature of child/youth formation and the importance of teachers in our society; will be announced at the Global Education and Skills Forum in Dubai on March 13.

Out of 8000 applications from 148 countries, Ayub – a business studies teacher at Eastleigh High School, Nairobi, Kenya – was shortlisted for the $1 million global reward for upholding anti-extremism education. The reason for his nomination is really significant at a time where the world battles with religious extremist who in recent times have started recruiting and brainwashing children.

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Education generally is a vital part of human formation and foundation. What you know informs what you think and believe; and education is a guiding principle that makes that possible. Putting it straight, every society of the world have their pattern of education – Africans patronized the informal education till their interaction with the western world.

Through education of which ever pattern, culture and knowledge is preserved. That is how we still have the knowledge of age-old history and traditions that have formed the basis of most of the things we do now. Education uncovers the potentials of the young; it is a powerful tool in building up a sound society and that is why it is indeed deserving that this Kenyan teacher, (likewise all other nominated teachers) be duly recognized and commended for ceasing the fact and doing good for his students, the African Society and the world at large.

Have you ever wondered why these terrorist groups recruit children? Why are children expected to listen and obey their parents and teachers? Why do various religions encourage children participation in the practice of their faith? ” Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6), that is how it is. What ever they are ‘fed’ with in their formative stages, sticks and rules a large percentage of their perception about life.

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In the same way that children are taught the values of life, so also has Ayub Mohamud taken the responsibility to impact Kenyan students with precepts that will optimistically make the extremism concept, often religious, a possible ‘non-issue’ for the future. If you’ve come across the child-soldier tendency then you will appreciate the value and the immense positive gesture that this is.

Kenya as a nation have had series of attacks from Islāmic extremist groups (Al-Shabab); other African nations and some countries in the world presently experience such attacks from time to time. Fighting terrorism is a fight for everyone, not just for the government and this altruistic teacher is contributing his little but ‘gigantic’ quota to the fight.

“Kenya has seen a dramatic rise in violent extremism: Between 1970 and 2007, the country experienced 190 terrorist attacks, an average of five per year; since 2008, the average has escalated to 47 attacks a year. The overwhelming majority of these incidents have been attributed to Al-Shabaab.” – Afrobarometer

Religious extremism is made possible by fundamentalism, and as such needs a more appropriate version of education to counter it and that is where Mohamud comes in.

“I love my teaching life- the intellectual, social, and personal challenges of working with young people and the satisfaction of developing methods that transform their lives and give them perspective on the lives of others,”- Nancie Atwell- 2015 Global Teacher Price winner

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