The role of education in contributing to safety and well-being in conflict settings

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Helpdesk Query:

Produce a report looking at:

1) The contribution of education to child protection during an active conflict;

2) The contribution of education to well-being and resilience building during a conflict;

3) Evidence that disaster risk reduction education in schools leads to improved resilience, both at the individual and community level;

4) The extent to which education contributes to peace-building and stabilisation during and in the aftermath of conflict, and how.

Summary:

The purpose of this report was to provide a summary of existing research on the non-academic benefits of education in a conflict setting. The review seeks to identify particular educational interventions and contextual factors that may influence outcomes in the associated area.

In general terms, the range of interventions under each section are categorised as either systemic inputs (e.g. educational resources, mechanisms, and infrastructure) or educational inputs (e.g. courses, content, teaching and learning approaches etc.). It is to be noted that the role of administration, infrastructure, and resources in countries affected by conflict may make important differences in the effectiveness of types of education interventions, particularly when focussing on school-level activities.

Evidence from a broad variety of sources and settings indicate that the following interventions are seen to contribute to the role of education and schooling as a provider of safety and well-being in conflict-affected settings:

  • Evidence shows that communities play a key role in supporting the contributions that education in conflict-affected settings can make to the safety and well-being of both children and the community at large.
  • Evidence shows that the teaching workforce have a key role to play in establishing education and the school environment as a safe, protective and fear-free setting for children affected by conflict.
  • Some anecdotal and observational evidence suggests that the school environment itself has a central role to play in fostering the safety and well-being of children in conflict-affected settings.
  • Inclusive and equitable access to schooling is regarded by some as a key factor in supporting social stability at both community and national levels.
  • In largely practical terms, the school setting is regarded in conflict-affected contexts as a key point of access to the community, and as such can support community-level safety and well-being through numerous ‘non-academic’ interventions.
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