Author: Nicolai, Susan
Full Citation: Nicolai, S. (Ed.). (2009). Opportunities for change: Education innovation and reform during and after conflict. Paris, France: International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP-UNESCO).
Overview: Conflict and the displacement that often follows have considerable ramifications for the education sector. They create distinctive challenges for education practitioners. However, opportunities for reform and positive change within the sector also arise simultaneously during and after conflict. This book explores some of the prospects for positive transformation. It looks at how ministries of education, together with other implementing partners, have in certain cases seized these opportunities to bring innovation and reform to education systems. It examines how practice can be changed to improve education access, quality and system management. A series of ten case studies presents specific examples of how positive change has been implemented in the education sector in several different conflict and recovery settings.
Findings: Some of the case studies demonstrate that there can also be resistance to transforming the education sector. The Afghanistan and Angolan case studies examine innovative education programmes that have been initiated as a response to conflict, while case studies on Cambodia, Southern Sudan, Kosovo and South Africa address issues of system change in post-conflict situations. Efforts to improve teacher conditions and training are examined through the case studies on Colombia and Kosovo. Finally, case studies on Rwanda, Sri Lanka and Uganda deal largely with curriculum transformation in terms of history and peace education during the reconstruction period. This book emphasizes that the protection of students and teachers coupled with conflict prevention and peace-building initiatives should be prioritized and promoted throughout the education system to ensure that the opportunities for positive change are indeed fully realized.