Achieving Education for All: Good Practice in Crisis and PostConflict Reconstruction

A Handbook for Education Policy Makers and Practitioners in Commonwealth Countries

image of Achieving Education for All: Good Practice in Crisis and PostConflict Reconstruction
Conflict, natural disasters and other difficult circumstances present major obstacles to achieving the Millennium Development Goal of providing universal primary education by 2015. Commonwealth ministers of education are committed to developing strategies to strengthen education programmes for preventing conflict and mitigating the impact of conflict and natural disasters on education in disrupted societies.

This study focuses on sixteen Commonwealth countries in Africa, where the incidence of conflict is most easily seen, though many of the other problems discussed here have their parallels in other parts of the world, such as the 2004 Indian ocean tsunami.

The publication reviews selected African experiences of education in

• conflict situations

• natural disasters

• other difficult circumstances

and elaborates on the role education plays

• before emergencies occur, including its presence as a factor of exclusion

• during crisis situations and the ensuing responses

• afterwards in recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation.

This practical guide will assist policymakers and others worldwide to better understand the complex issues and options that exist in decisionmaking; to share best practice in addressing situations arising from conflict, emergencies, and difficult circumstances; and to mitigate the effects on schooling while fostering a climate of tolerance, gender equality and diversity.



The Gender Dimension

For millions of young people, especially girls, their right to education continues to be denied in conflict and post-conflict environments and in situations of crisis resulting from natural disasters and difficult circumstances, including the devastation caused by HIV/AIDS in Africa. Of the more than 110 million children not in school in the world, two-thirds are girls. Progress is being made in delivering education to girls and boys in several African countries emerging from armed conflict, in crisis or encountering difficult circumstances, and it is recognised that applying a gender perspective to these efforts, including ensuring that a greater percentage of girls attend school, enhances poverty reduction and economic development. The positive impact of girls’ education has been captured thus: ‘When women are educated, the whole society benefits’ (Onubogu, 2004).


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