The Shule Salama project seeks to reinvigorate measures covered under pillar I of United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy adopted unanimously by the General Assembly through resolution 60/288. The project is also anchored in Kenya’s Prevention of Terrorism Act 2012.
The project represents Kenya’s realization that “There is need for systematic preventive measures which directly address the drivers of violent extremism that have given rise to the emergence of these new and more virulent groups”. And the need to “to unite against violent extremism in all its forms and manifestations”.
The project follows the conclusion of the National Conference on security and Countering Violent Extremism in Kenya held from 14 – 16 January, 2014 in Nairobi where the government came out openly in appreciation of the magnitude of violent extremism in Kenya and the national CVE accountability and advocacy charter which underscores the need for collaborative efforts between state and non-state actors.
Preliminary research by the US Homeland Security Institute & the Department of Education (2009) found evidence that at least 23 of the 42 currently active groups designated by the U.S. Department of State as Foreign Terrorist Organizations utilize school-aged youth in some capacity. In some cases, Terrorist organizations have used schools as a recruitment venue in many locations throughout the world, utilizing the education system to transmit group ideologies as well as provide mental and physical training and indoctrination.
Approach Theoretical Framework
The project conceptual model and the primary prevention approach is based on Albert Bandura’s (1986) Cognitive Learning Theory (CLT). This model is based on personal theories of behavior change, cognitive problem solving skills and environmental level theories and the project seeks to address individual role, situational influence and environmental factors necessary for counteracting peer and social pressure, and strengthening the role and capacity of institutional actors.
The project is designed to act early to build a preventative-protective wall in our schools by identifying and mitigating risk factors that exist within the school and those that emanate as a consequence of the inevitable linkages between schools, family and neighbouring communities. Cognizant of the need for primary prevention programs that address this inevitable linkages the project utilizes the Social Ecological Model (SEM) to amplify identify and strengthen factors and comprehensively address and mitigate risk factors at individual, peer, institutional and community levels.