Education for security and development

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By Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan

To mark the launch in Amman, Jordan, of the Arabic edition of the 2011 Education for All Global Monitoring Report, The hidden crisis: Armed conflict and education, we republish this special contribution to the report by Queen Rania.

When we think of war, we think of soldiers. But they’re not the only ones facing violence and death. Tragically, children and schools are too often on the front lines as well. No wonder, then, that half of all out-of-school children live in fragile or conflict-affected states.

Conflict is as insidious as it is deadly. Not only does it destroy livelihoods today, it destroys livelihoods tomorrow by denying children an education. Once children are back in school, devastating childhood traumas impact their ability to learn and cope with the world. The effects can ripple on for generations.

The waves of devastation bring development to a grinding halt and often throw it into reverse. With conflict children out of school, the other EFA and MDG targets become almost impossible to reach, while radicalism and violence exceed all expectations. That’s why we must focus our efforts on giving these children an education. Not only does it prevent conflict before it occurs, it also rebuilds countries after it ends. Rebuilding: infrastructure, governance, but more importantly, minds. In the wake of new-found peace, re-education is critical for combatants, child and adult alike, who have no skills or prospects beyond the barrel of a gun.

This is especially true in the Middle East where violence defines the lives of too many children. In Palestine, about 110,000 primary age children are out of school, up from 4,000 ten years ago. Growing up in the shadow of occupation, scarred by conflict, going to school remains the single most cherished priority of Palestinian children. Despite bombs and blockades, they know it’s their only hope for a normal life.

In Iraq, poverty and insecurity deny over half a million children the right to go to primary school; their daily lessons are in hunger and loss; graduating to fear and hate. If regional and global insecurity are international priorities, we must address the poverty, social exclusion, and lack of opportunity brought about by conflict.

That means bringing education to conflict zones because it undermines extremists and strengthens fragile states. But, more than that, it brings hope to millions of children who have never known peace. It brings opportunity to countries that are desperate for growth and prosperity.

In short, education is our saving grace, our best chance, and our one shot to bring security and development to all humanity.

This entry was posted in Conflict, Developing countries, Human rights, Marginalization, Millennium Development Goals, Out-of-school children, Poverty, Refugees and displaced people. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Education for security and development

  1. faisal says:

    Majesty Qeen Rania,
    I want to tell you that you did your uttermost efforts to enhance education system and teachers training and students’ academic, knowledge levels in Jordan but still most of teachers are unable to teach oral skills inside and ouside the classes and one example is a female teacher of English at pioneer center for gifted students -shunah shmaliah is unable to taech English and teach is in Arabic language. All classes are grammar but through 100% Arabic language. She never teaches other skills: reading, listening, writing, vocabulary, spelling, etc. Once, she is unable to taech speaking simply because she could not speak so where is educations for students’ security. Actually, I like the language security in which teachers of English help tp learn students self-confidence, independent learners, successfull and great leaders. She deals with students as empty vessels simply because she is herself empty. Wish you visit this center sooner and see things in reality.
    Thanks a lot,\


  2. Pingback: Education in the spotlight in 2011 « World Education Blog

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