If you’re anything like me and are passionate about the wonders that education can do, then you may have heard about the notion and mechanisms related to conflict-sensitive education.
Internationally, education is regarded as a fundamental right. But it’s important to note that yet in conflict situations, a hierarchy of rights tends to emerge, with education as a low priority. Globally, education is also regarded as an essential tool for human development and poverty eradication. However, efforts to widen access to education need to focus more on how education can affect conflict. According to current writings on the subject matter by Smith, Alan and Vaux, Tony (2003) “Education, Conflict and International Development”, there is an urgent need to develop methods to track whether ‘progress’ in education may also create tensions that could spark or exacerbate conflict. At the very least it must be understood that education can be part of the problem as well as part of the solution. Providing education in countries in conflict or emerging from conflict raises a number of issues amongst which state education heightening tensions, the fragmented nature of analysing education in conflict settings, and post-conflict educational reconstruction process must consider whether to replace what existed before or to undertake major reform amongst others things.
That is part of the reason why education policies and programmes that only focus on technical solutions are not sufficient to address the challenges found in conflict-affected contexts. That’s why it’s essential that all humanitarian, development, and educational programmes respond to the context and the dynamics of the conflict by being “conflict sensitive.” In a recent podcast by FHI 360, technical advisors outline the components of this way of looking at education in specific contexts and highlight considerations for increasing the positive effects while decreasing the negative effects of education in conflict settings.
Listen on the podcast below; https://soundcloud.com/fhi360/education-in-conflict