Reshaping the Future

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Reshaping the Future - Education and Postconflict Reconstruction The relationship between education systems and conflict presents policymakers with a conundrum. Schools are almost always complicit in conflict. They reproduce the skills, values, attitudes, and social relations of dominant groups in society; accordingly, they are usually a contributory factor in conflict. Simultaneously reconstructing and reforming education is increasingly viewed as a critical element in the strategy to reduce the risk of conflict or relapse into conflict. The central message of this paper, therefore, is that conflict presents not only challenges for reconstruction but also significant opportunities for reform of education systems. The challenge of simultaneous reform and reconstruction at a time of constrained human, financial, and institutional resources and considerable urgency calls for particular attention to priorities and sequencing of interventions. Short-term immediate responses need to be conceptualized within a framework that provides for more substantial systemic reform as the new political vision emerges and system capacity is built. The paper offers an overview of the key findings of a study of education and postconflict reconstruction and draws on a literature review, a database of key indicators for 52 conflict-affected countries, and a review of 12 country studies.

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