Online course about ethics education for children: a transformative pedagogy for Learning to Live Together

Online course about ethics education for children: a transformative pedagogy for Learning to Live Together

The NGO Arigatou International is opening an online training course for education stakeholders, from 25 August to 7 September 2020.

Registration is open until Tuesday, 18 August.

Click here to find in the registration form.

The current situation in the world with the COVID-19 pandemic has forced 1.2 billion children out of school, impacting their overall well-being as many experience malnutrition, violence at home, higher levels of stress, anxiety, and uncertainty about the future; some do not have access to online or remote learning opportunities, and many are struggling with social isolation. While in some contexts schools are restarting, in others, schools may be closed for several more months.

During these challenging times, educators have a critical role to play in supporting children's social, emotional and spiritual well-being, and creating learning opportunities to strengthen children's critical thinking, sense of belonging to a larger community, interconnectedness with others while keeping physical distancing and providing spaces for children to reflect about and respond to the ethical challenges we all face. 

This online course builds on Arigatou International's long-standing expertise in promoting ethics education for children. It will provide educators with knowledge and tools to use a transformative pedagogy that places children at the center of the educational experience, helps to create safe learning environments, responds to their context and realities, and fosters participatory and collaborative learning. A pedagogy that encourages critical thinking, imagination, and critical consciousness about the realities of children, and promotes self-driven learning, which are critical components for education today.

Above all, educators will identify concrete ways to engage children in ethical reflections, nurture their spirituality, and foster interconnectedness and collective action in a world that needs to learn how to live together.  

This course aims to create learning opportunities for teachers to:

  • Get acquainted with the Arigatou International Ethics Education Framework and pedagogical approach and how it responds to the needs of the current context.
  • Share each other’s contexts during COVID-19 and implications on children and education.
  • Learn how to create safe, positive and empowering learning environments and opportunities for children and youth while fostering interfaith learning and collaboration.
  • Identify concrete ways to strengthen children’s ability to reflect about the current situation and respond to the ethical challenges during and after the COVID-19 Pandemic while fostering.
  • Develop strategies to ensure children’s socio-emotional and spiritual well-being and to empower them as agents of positive change.

The online course is focused on the individual work of the participants, who can follow at their own pace the online modules on Arigatou's learning platform, with two common webinars during the two-week period. A certificate will be granted to those successfully completing the course.

Mobilising resilience during and after COVID-19: a peer-to-peer experience sharing among youth peacebuilders in Africa

Mobilising resilience during and after COVID-19: a peer-to-peer experience sharing among youth peacebuilders in Africa

Registration required in advance for participation:

A recent statement adopted by the UN Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development (UN-IANYD) offered three key perspectives on how to keep the contributions of youth peacebuilders on the front-burner during and after the COVID-19 crisis by calling on all actors in the international community to:

  • partner, safely and effectively, with young people during and after the COVID-19 crisis;
  • recognize the value of young people’s own actions and their potential to advance the fight against the pandemic; and prevention of violent extremism;
  • understand the specific impacts the pandemic has and will have on young people, ensuring that COVID-19 related responses uphold young people’s human rights and are inclusive of young people’s specific needs.

The overarching goal of the proposed webinar by UNESCO IICBA in collaboration with AU Y4P is to help bring to the epicentre of continental and global policy arena the remarkable roles that African youth peacebuilders are playing in the ongoing efforts to tackle COVID-19. This initiative is implemented with support from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH through the APSA project, in line with the existing collaboration with the AU Y4P programme. It is hoped that the webinars can also inform the documentation of the overall impact of COVID-19 on Peace and Security in Africa, that proposals can be formulated on how to respond to the identified challenges, and that key outcomes can be further disseminated following the webinars.

It is premised on the understanding that whether or not the voice and agency of young African peacebuilders would remain audible and loud enough to draw attention to their contributions to the fight against COVID-19 or end up becoming muffled, maligned and completely lost in the post-pandemic era, would depend on the above listed three perspectives.

It is proposed that the moderated webinar discussions put young people at the centre so that they can freely engage between and among themselves in peer-to-peer information sharing and experiential learning. It would also afford them the opportunity to share their experiences of resilience before and since the outbreak of COVID-19, and what the outlook might be thereafter. Furthermore, the webinar would provide further opportunities for young African peacebuilders to keep abreast of recent developments in the peace and security sphere across Africa. Finally, the webinar should offer participants as well as the organisers an opportunity to document- and track- resilience measures that individuals, communities and governments are mobilising and their limitations in terms of mitigating the adverse impacts of COVID-19 or even the potential conflict fallouts.

Two webinar sessions, each lasting 90 minutes, are proposed to be held on Tuesday, 9th June and Tuesday, 16th June 2020.

Objectives of the Webinars

  • Discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the emotional, mental and socio-economic well-being as well as the educational needs of youth in Africa
  • Identify how the youth and their groups/networks are coping with and responding to the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic including for false news and violence messages
  • Identify and share best practices on how the youth peacebuilders can maintain resilience while they continue to exercise their agency and voice on key security and developmental priorities during and after the pandemic
  • Provide recommendations on how youth and their groups should continue to address pressing needs for peacebuilding PVE and resilience the current and future contexts

This webinar therefore, will offer young peacebuilders a more robust, practical and hands-on opportunity to engage themselves, and also to forge potentially rewarding links with the hosting institutions.

Webinar: The COVID-19 pandemic and the ethical challenges for children and youth

Webinar: The COVID-19 pandemic and the ethical challenges for children and youth

Find the video of this webinar here.

This Wednesday, June 3, from 13:00hrs to 14:30hrs (UTC), the IICBA invites you to attend the webinar on the COVID-19 pandemic and the ethical challenges for children and youth.

Date: Wednesday, 3 June, 2020
Time: 13:00 – 14:30 UTC
Duration: 90 minutes

While the education sector has responded to school closures by setting up online learning spaces and other innovative practices to support home-schooling, half of all students of the world are currently out of the classroom without access to a computer, and more than 40 per cent of children have no internet access at home.  Many children are being left behind with increasing disparities in access to education and learning, compromising their safety and well-being.

This is happening in a context where socio-economic inequalities are being exacerbated as the economic consequences of the pandemic are having a dramatic effect on the most vulnerable and marginalized children. According to the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) more than half a billion people — almost 8% of the global population — could be pushed into poverty as a result of the pandemic. The impact on African economies could be the slowing of growth to 1.8 per cent in the best case scenario or a contraction of 2.6 per cent in the worst case. This has the potential to push 29 million people into extreme poverty.  Further consequences are expected due to the disruptions to maternal and child health services during this period.

The pandemic has deepened and made more visible the many inequalities in our socieities, including those related to access to health, food security and nutrition, shelter and living conditons and digital access. The marganizalized continue to be the most vulnerable to the overall impacts of pandemic in many ways.

Acording to the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), education is one of the sectors most heavily affected, with the closure of learning institutions in many African countries likely to negatively affect education in terms of access, quality and investments. In the last few weeks, African governments and key education stakeholders have instituted some measures to promote the continuity of education from home. These have been successful in some ways, but challenges remain.

As restrictions on physical distancing are lifted, the economic impacts of the lockdowns and other restraints, are likely to put further stress on social dynamics, possibly enhancing the possibilities for conflict and violence in our communities.

As the world rallies to meet the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, extremist groups including those from West Africa have continued to carry out large-scale attacks and conduct cross-border activities.  There is a risk the current situation might undermine gains on peacebuilding and prevention of violent extremism including those made by the education sector.

The lockdown period already highlighted an increase of domestic conflicts and violence. The need to live together full time, sometimes in limited spaces, has also put stress on relationships among family members. Due to the impacts of the pandemic, millions of learners will go back to school finding themselves poorer, more vulnerable and in some cases victims of violence. Even if not affected directly, learners will witness changes in their environment and ethical challenges arising in their contexts as a consequence of the pandemic.

Education should respond to the holistic needs of the learners, empower children to be resilient and equip them to cope with the context around them and positively respond to the challenges they face. While lockdowns, learning at home and online learning strategies continue, we must make use of dynamic approaches to support learners beyond their academic work. A special emphasis should be given to support learners socio-emotional learning and towards empowering them to meet the ethical challenges they encounter.  By recognizing their potential to contribute towards positive social transformations, we no longer see them as passive recipients of knowledge but partners and contributors towards addressing shared challenges

While the COVID 19 pandemic has put pressure on the education, it has also shown our interconnectedness and the power of human solidarity.  Education can make use of transformative pedagogies to creatively address this opportunity and empower learners as agents of positive change in their communities. 

This webinar invites educators to reflect on the COVID-19 Pandemic and the ethical challenges for children and youth, and how we can empower them to address these challenges. The webinar is part of a learning module that UNESCO IICBA is offering for educators to support learners during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The objectives of the webinar are to:

  • discuss the ethical challenges arising in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic in an interconnected world ;
  • reflect on the impact on children and young people and how they can respond to ethical challenges ;
  • identify strategies to empower children and young people through education responses to address the ethical challenges around them as global citizens.

Programme and Speakers

Welcome remarks and introduction of theme (5mins)

Dr. Yumiko Yokozeki

Key note remarks (12mins)

Dr. Obiora Ike
Executive Director

Panel discussion (40mins)  

Dr. Rashied Omar
Research Scholar of Islamic Studies and Peacebuilding at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame and Imam of the Claremont Main Road Mosque in Cape Town, South Africa. 

Ms. Anne Waichinga
Associate Director - Education and Child Protection
World Vision International 

Mr. Suchith Abeyewickreme
Ethics Education Programme Coordinator 
Arigatou International 

Question and answer and discussion (30mins)

Webinar Moderator: Eyerusalem Azmeraw
Chat Moderator : Vera Lean


IICB website:

Promoting social and emotional learning during school closures: why and how

Promoting social and emotional learning during school closures: why and how

With schools closed now for students in most parts of the world, instruction is being shifted to virtual teaching and learning. For those with greater access to digital resources, this instruction can include the use of digital devices—such as computers, tablets, and smart phones—to connect with students either synchronously or asynchronously using video-enhanced content. Where students and their families do not have such devices, mass media platforms such as radio and television are being used to transmit both static and interactive lessons for students as well as guidance tips for parents on how to support student learning while at home.

As important and effective as these approaches can be in fostering ongoing learning during this period of global crisis, we cannot lose sight of another important facet of student’s lives and ability to learn: their safety and sense of stability (UN Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI) and UNESCO, 2015). The international development community has begun to recognize the importance of social and emotional learning (SEL) and positive and safe school and classroom climate in promoting academic achievement in schools. Further, donors, such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), have invested millions of dollars exploring ways to bolster social and emotional skills within students and teachers alike, including ways to raise awareness among teachers about the importance of safe and positive environments. Unfortunately, removing students from the classroom does not necessarily remove them from risks of violence (United Nations, 2020; World Health Organization, 2019). Just as the effects of this global pandemic are felt by adults, it also impacts children whose routines and structures have largely disappeared (Stafford, et al., 2009). As the world grapples with how best to promote ongoing learning among children while at home it must, therefore, also continue to capitalize on improvements made in SEL development and child safety and security. Indeed, the current pandemic offers unexpected and unprecedented opportunities to ensure that progress achieved in SEL development and student safety is retained. For the education practitioners community, this means we must find and act in innovative ways to equip students, as well as their parents and teachers, with the social and emotional competencies they need to productively deal with the stressors and potential risks in their lives. Read more



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