Children and education systems are often on the front line of violent conflict. Of the world’s 72 million children who don’t attend school, about one-third live in only 20 conflict-affected countries. The 2011 Education for All Global Monitoring Report will examine the damaging consequences of conflict for the Education for All goals and set out an agenda for protecting and rebuilding education during and after conflict. The report will also explore the role of inappropriate education in fostering conflict and explore ways that education can be a force for peace, social cohesion and human dignity.
As well as drawing on experience from a range of countries and the help of international experts, the 2011 Global Monitoring Report will be able to build on the findings of other recent reports on education and conflict. Save the Children, which in 2006 launched its campaign Rewrite the Future to get children in conflict-affected countries into school, released a report this month called The Future is Now, which points out that “civilians now make up more than 90% of casualties in the world’s conflicts and about half of those are children.” Education Under Attack, published earlier this year by UNESCO, describes how the number of politically and ideologically motivated attacks on teachers, students and school buildings is rising across the world.
Meanwhile, the World Bank’s next World Development Report will focus on the wider issues of conflict and development. “Violent conflict and state fragility,” the Bank’s website states, “are major development challenges: conflict causes misery, destroys communities and infrastructure, and can cripple economic prospects.” The report team members explore these challenges on their blog Conflict and Development.