A Kenyan teacher Ayub Mohamud is among 10 teachers across the globe that have been shortlisted for a $1 million prize for their efforts in deradicalization of Islamic students and teaching anti-extremist ideologies to his students.
Mohamud has been singled out by the Varkey Foundation’s Global Teacher Prize dubbed as the Nobel of teaching that puts teaching excellence in the spotlight; the winner is expected to be announced in Dubai on Sunday.
Ayub is a teacher in Kenya’s Capital Eastleigh suburbs where he teaches business and Islamic studies. One of his key lessons that have yielded immense success is ‘Islam versus Violent extremism’. His school is in district called ‘Little Mogadishu’ owing to the large number of ethnic Kenyan-Somalis and Somali nationals living there.
He began giving the anti-extremism classes three years ago in the suburbs (termed as the al Shabaab hotbed in Kenya) shortly after Kenya Defence Forces crossed into Somalia in a bid to make his students understand the importance and reasons behind the incursion.
He has dedicated his time to ensure that the youths and students understand the effects of joining terror groups and the repercussions they have on innocent people. He has identified the niche of educating his student early enough before they are swayed by the radical recruiters who call them to fight. He seeks to equip the students with values that will set them apart and hopefully prevent their radicalization and reject the demands of extremists groups.
The fund, set up by Dubai-based entrepreneur, philanthropist and educator Sunny Varkey, a UNESCO education ambassador, is paid in installments and requires the winner to remain as a teacher for at least five years.
The award was won by Hanan Al Hroub a Palestinian refugee teacher who teaches refugee children near Bethlehem, provides support for traumatized children by using play as a tension and violence resolution technique.