War and conflict have a considerable negative impact on the education sector. However, even as education systems are damaged or destroyed by violence, multiple opportunities emerge for positive innovation and reform. This book describes efforts of education authorities – and the agencies assisting them – as they take advantage of the opportunities for change that emerge out of periods of conflict and early recovery. Case studies from Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, Colombia, Kosovo, South Africa, Southern Sudan, Sri Lanka, Rwanda and Uganda explore conditions that contribute to strengthening education systems. Curriculum reform and innovative teacher training approaches are shown to be key parts of quality improvement processes. Moreover, the introduction of alternative education programmes and subjects such as peace education are identified as contributing to positive education change. Experiences outlined here suggest that the protection of students and teachers should be coupled with conflict prevention and peace-building initiatives. The importance of strengthening education partnerships is highlighted as a particularly critical component of response. Education innovation and reform should be supported for the long term, and prioritized and promoted to ensure that opportunities for positive change are fully realized during and after conflict.
Education in emergencies and reconstruction