Let’s Talk: Does our war on terror start in the classroom? 180

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A leading defence expert has suggested a new approach to combating homegrown terrorism, one that takes the battle into the classroom.

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s latest release Gen Y jihadists: preventing radicalisation in Australia points out that a decade ago, it was typically men in their early to mid 20s who were drawn to extremism.

Today, however, radicalists are targeting teenagers aged around 14 to 16 and there is an urgent need to focus our energies on this age group, say the report authors.

One of the recommendations made by the report is to teach Middle Eastern politics and history in schools to provide context to today’s issues.

“There’s surely got to be some room within our curriculum where we can have an intelligent and structured conversation with young people about what’s going on in the Middle East so they’re not just leaving it to the internet to find that sort of stuff out,” said Peter Jennings, executive director of ASPI, speaking to the ABC.

“Even if that meant an hour less on Australian history and Gallipoli, for example, I think it would be a good thing if we could have [a] moderated and balanced discussion about Middle East politics in the curriculum of our schools.”

The report also recommends the Government do more to explain to the public why Australia has been and is currently involved in military operations in the Middle East, and that it should learn to use social media as effectively as its enemies.

“The Islamic State [group] has made absolutely effective use of its propaganda instruments, and yet we find that we’re considerably slower at being able to respond, slower when it comes to reacting to the day-to-day developments,” Mr Jennings told the ABC.

“And really we ought to be at least as good as our enemies when it comes to saying what our business is and what we’re doing about this counter-terrorism fight.”

Let’s Talk: Do you think teaching Middle Eastern history and politics to school kids will stop young people from joining terrorist organisations? 

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. This is not education, this is what is wrong with the education system now, to much outside things that have nothing to with education. Schools are for reading, writing and arithmetic (maths) science, geography, history etc, not this, stop them from coming here, and when you know about them get rid of them. We shouldn’t be the ones to be educated about them, they should be educated about the right ways of our country.

    5 REPLY
    • Sorry to disagree Judith but we do need to know what is going on in the rest of the world and our young should know why we get involved in issues in other parts of the world. All part of world history.

    • Sorry a lot of schools don’t teach History any more. We have it in papers and TV on here all the time so why does it need to go into schools. Young vulnerable children get enough garbage about these mongrels every day do not need it in the class room at all.

    • Remember Chamberlain with his piece of paper. Peace in our time, we all know how that turned out. Wake up.

  2. It would have to be an improvement on Tony and his constant harping on about death cults plus the proposed “take away their citizenship” laws and Ciobo’s response to Mallah on Q&A which serve only to alienate.

    8 REPLY
    • Tacky Zaky has put out a disgusting video, he is a real smart a#se . He is saying now, yes he called the 2 journalist whores, but didn’t say he wanted to gang rape them, but gang bang them, which means it would be consensual. He has turned into a ” STAR ” loving all the attention Lots of other rubbish , AND he has grown 10 feet with all the attention he is getting, is loving this

    • Not suggesting I like Mallah at all. Just saying that the response by Ciobo was not at all helpful and has in fact helped Mallah get his 15 minutes of fame.

    • The minds of the children are polluted by their parents long before they get to school. Their minds are polluted from the time they learn to speak.

    • I gather you would rather have Rudd and Gillard back where they allowed 52,000 of them to come in by boats. Good for you.

    • We don’t talk about gang bangs in front of my grandchildren or without them being there and I do not want them learning that behavior from people like you. They will sail through life far easier than if they were racists

    • Another comment totally off the point by another Joe? If I thought you were real David I might get annoyed with you for even suggesting that I approve of Mallah. My only comment was about Ciobo’s response.

  3. Did it help with the anti-smoking and anti-drugs campaign? Maybe teaching our country’s history better and other things come from the home. Curriculum getting very crowded. Teachers are not miracle workers and what a can of worms you could be opening. It suggested less on Australian history etc. I would suggest more- the more you know , the more you understand. And a greater understanding of multiculturalism, as who knows where threats may come from in the future. Not good to target one area- study more of all areas relevant to Australia. I am still shocked at the ignorance of some Aussies about other cultures, even with people I know well. A balanced view of all cultures so young adults can identify evil such as terrorism.

    3 REPLY
    • I find it rather sad that most of our young people have little or no knowledge of the history of our country which also includes the political scene. We were taught such a lot about these things at school and I wonder why it has been discontinued in recent years

    • I agree and no one is born a racist or a bigot, it learned behaviour, why make the situation any worse than it is. Our kids are not the unpaid police

    • The minds of the children are polluted by their parents long before they get to school. Their minds are polluted from the time they learn to speak.

  4. I would be very concerned about this topic being brought into the classroom, it is likely to have mixed results. If we are accepting of migrants with Muslim beliefs we need to show it more in the community. This group of people will always struggle to assimilate if they feel ostracized, we need them to join the workforce as well as other aspects of Australian way of life and it’s not going to happen if they are not accepted.

  5. NO mobil phones at any school, NO head ware to be warn to any school, fighting at school pupils to be sent home for 1 week, any student swearing at a teacher to be sent home for 1 week, as a starter to introduce respect back into our schools, english education only in all schools, any parent who does not send his child to school, government assistance of any nature to stop includes social wefare health/ rental payments

    2 REPLY

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