X Close

Centre for Education and International Development (CEID), UCL Institute of Education

Home

A forum for staff, students, alumni and guests to write about and around CEID's five thematic areas of engagement.

Menu

Archive for the 'conflict and peacebuilding' Category

CEID Seminar Series 2018/19

CEID Admin8 November 2018

CEID Seminar Series 2018/19

The CEID Seminar series is hosted by the Centre for Education and International Development (CEID) at the UCL Institute of Education. Initiated in the 2017/18 academic year, following the launch of the Centre in June 2017, the CEID seminar series is a forum for academics, doctoral students, practitioners and invited speakers to present and open discussion on issues, ideas and debates in the field of Education and International Development. See the full series listing here.

 

Seminar 7: Gender and Teacher Education in Nigeria, October 18th 2018

Speakers – Professor Elaine Unterhalter, UCL Institute of Education, Dr Amy North, UCL Institute of Education and Yvette Hutchinson, British Council

Chair – Professor Moses Oketch, UCL Institute of Education

Abstract – In the first CEID seminar in the 2018/19 academic year, Elaine Unterhalter and Amy North will present findings from their research in Nigeria on Gender and Teacher education in five Nigerian states. The research took place between 2014 and 2016, and was funded by the MacArthur Foundation and the British Council Nigeria. Yvette Hutchinson, British Council, completes the panel and will present on the British Council’s involvement with the project, its work in Nigeria and in teacher capacity development and gender in particular. Following the panel presentations and discussion, questions will be invited from the audience.

Watch the recording here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okupVsuv1WM

 

Seminar 8: Violent extremism and the political economy of education in Afghanista, November 8th 2018

Speaker: Dr Tejendra Pherali, UCL Institute of Education

Chair: Professor Moses Oketch, UCL Institute of Education

Abstract

As global attention is concentrated on Islamic State (IS) activities in Syria and Iraq, IS fighters seem to be exploiting the conditions of state fragility in Afghanistan to expand their influence in several districts. It has been reported that IS has a significant dominance in 11 out of 24 districts in the eastern province of Nangarhar where, they control all aspects of community life including, education. Drawing upon qualitative interviews and focus group discussions (N=31) in Kabul and Nagarhar which is considered the IS headquarters in the region, this paper explores the multitude of ways IS is controlling educational processes in Afghanistan. We find that both state and non-state actors compete for control over education, both formal institutions as well as social and cultural discourses about learning. Unlike Taliban who have the nationalist agenda against Western interventions (of all kinds including, education), the IS approach to radicalisation seems to be much more strategic, ideologically broad and aimed at long term political gains in the form of a ‘Caliphate’. Through their brutal tactics, IS fighters influence access, contents and pedagogies to establish their Jihadist ideology, which underpins a wider religious and political justification of the ‘struggle’ against the West and production of a new generation of jihadists. Our research finds that rural communities in Afghanistan play a critical role in shaping the political terrain such as, establishing the conditions under which state sovereignty is contested, negotiated and challenged. As such, they serve the dual purpose: strengthening state authority by sustaining public services including, education; and creating a space for non-state actors to promote alternative ideologies. Finally, we argue that understanding the latter can contribute to critical reflection of the existing education policies and reclaim educational spaces for Afghanistan’s peaceful future.

Livestreaming – This session will be livestreamed via this link: https://youtu.be/wCs8cL9idcI

Access the seminar slides here: Violent extremism and political economy of education in Afghanistan – CEID Seminar 8 slides.

 

CEID Seminar 9: In service of dominant elites? Nation, Education and Peacebuilding in Post (civil) War Tajikistan, January 16th 2019

Speaker: Dr Laila Kadiwal, Fellow in Education and International Development, UCL Institute of Education

Chair: Professor Moses Oketch, UCL Institute of Education

Following the cessation of the Soviet Union over two decades ago, Tajikistan grapples with ramifications of the civil war, global geopolitics, Soviet legacies and the revival of religious and ethnolinguistic identities– all of which influence identity formation and peacebuilding through contemporary discourses around education and development in Tajikistan. This seminar presents on the ways global and local political, economic, military, social and cultural agendas intersect with people’s identities, and the ways in which these are mirrored in education, fuelling conflict. The seminar draws upon the theories of ‘discourse,’ ‘global governmentality’ and ‘new imperialism’ concerning education, to explore dominant conceptions of national identity and peacebuilding and what implications these have for normalising unequal power relations and social cohesion. With reference to Gorno-Badakhshan, an ethnolinguistic and religious minority province, the session also investigates how local communities are responding to the interrelationships of the local, national and global. The paper argues that global-national-local discourses cast populations as politically compliant and polarised global market-based citizens in a globalised authoritarian state that serves dominant global and local elite interests. Recommendations include ways forward for challenging dominant discourses and for rethinking  issues of inequities, social cohesion and sustainable peacebuilding in education policy.

Livestream – This session will be livestreamed via this link:: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3zeD7KaUH8&feature=youtu.be Join the discussion with #CEIDSeminars

Access the seminar slides here: CEID Seminar_Jan 16_2019_Tajikistan

Dr. Tejendra Pherali gives keynote address at the Universidad Industrial de Santander, Colombia

CEID Admin12 January 2018

Tejendra Pherali, Senior Lecturer in Education and International Development and the research theme leader for Education, Conflict and Peacebuilding in CEID delivered a keynote adress on 15th November at the Universidad Industrial de Santander, Colombia.

Dr. Pherali at the Universidad Industrial de Santander, Colombia, 15th Nov 2017.

His presentation – ‘Understanding the nexus between education and peace in conflict-affected societies’ focused on the role of education in promoting peace with social justice in conflict-affected societies. He argued that universities in conflict-affected societies such as Colombia could play a civic role by connecting communities with academic research and knowledge production and by creating access for young people who have been left out of higher education because of violent conflict. His presentation further argued that education could support sustainable peace by promoting equitable access to quality education; through curriculum reforms, reflecting diverse identities of learners; educational decisions that involve inclusive processes; and educational policies, learning and teaching are that geared towards bringing people together from across dividing lines. Drawing upon his research in Nepal, Lebanon and Somalia, he proposed pathways to impact for higher education and peace which could be of relevance for Colombian universities as the country undergoes the peace process.

Dr. Pherali presents at the Faculty of Human Sciences at the Universidad Industrial de Santander, Colombia, 15th Nov 2017.

Dr. Tejendra Pherali leads workshop on Education, Conflict and Peacebuilding at Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, 6-9 November 2017

CEID Admin10 January 2018

Dr. Tejendra Pherali, Senior Lecturer in Education and International Development and the research theme leader for Education, Conflict and Peacebuilding at Centre for Education and International Development (CEID) led a workshop on Education, Conflict and Peacebuilding at Chulalongkorn University, Thailand from 6-9 November 2017.

Chulalongkorn UniversityFaculty and graduate students who participated in the workshop

The workshop was hosted by the Institute of Thai Studies at Thailand’s leading Chulalongkorn University, which is conducting a research study to design a peace education curriculum for schools in conflict-affected Southern provinces of Thailand. The workshop aimed to develop researchers’ theoretical knowledge about the interrelationship between education, violence and peace and participatory approaches to curriculum design and implementation in Thai schools.

Reflecting on the workshop, Dr Pherali said, ‘Colleagues in Chulalongkorn University were very keen to design an effective peace education curriculum which could promote a culture of peace in Southern provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat. The workshop was instrumental in exploring issues around learners’ cultural identities, language of instruction and processes of educational decision-making which need to be accounted for while designing a peace education curriculum. We were also able to draw upon few examples from other conflict-affected contexts which I hope would provide useful insights into Chula’s important work in this area.’

Dr. Pherali with workshop participants and Peace education researchers in Chulalongkorn University

Dr. Pherali speaking at the workshop

 

 

 

 

Dr Alexandra Lewis awarded LIDC Interdisciplinary Seed funding for research in Somalialand

CEID Admin20 December 2017

Imagining Somaliland: An investigation into the relationship between nation-building, citizenship and education in a contested space, written from a peacebuilding perspective

Dr Alexandra Lewis of the Centre of Education and International development, UCL Institute of Education, and Dr Idil Osman, SOAS Development Studies Department, have been awarded funding from the London International Development Centre (LIDC) Interdisciplinary Seed Fund for the project ‘Imagining Somaliland: An investigation into the relationship between nation-building, citizenship and education in a contested space, written from a peacebuilding perspective’. The research will investigate dynamics between citizenship, nation-building & educational provision from a peacebuilding perspective. The exploratory study will take place between January and August 2018, including fieldwork in March and April 2018.

Research project aims

In 2017, Somaliland published a new textbook on civic education for secondary school students. Although this textbook was released as part of a Somali-wide curriculum consolidation process, Somaliland retained the right in this process to develop its own education policy: their framework refers to Somaliland as a nation state, without integrating its education within any broader state system (Republic of Somaliland, 2017). One of the stated goals of the new curriculum is to promote a ‘National consciousness and unity in the minds of children at an early age and enhancement of a spirit of patriotism for Somaliland as well as a desire for its sustained integration, stability and prosperity’ (Ibid). Another goal is to assist the Somaliland people to develop ‘Skills and attitudes which foster the growth of social justice, responsibility and the value and virtues of peace’. There is a need to understand the degree to which these goals of nationalism and peacebuilding are compatible within a wider Somali educational context.

This exploratory research will investigate how nationalism and citizenship are “imagined” in Somaliland context, exploring both formal educational institutions and linked media content using Anderson’s Imagined Communities framework (1983). It will evaluate the potential for education to engage with these topics from a peacebuilding perspective. Further, it will investigate the degree to which peaceful citizenship values underpin the new curriculum, and the potential for that content to be accepted, based on the extent to which dominant public discourses, elite perspectives, media and media producers transmit compatible values of peacebuilding and citizenship.

Please contact ceid@ucl.ac.uk or Dr Alexandra Lewis a.lewis@ucl.ac.uk if you have any questions about the project.

From conflict to sustainable peace, education is key

CEID Admin9 June 2017

STUDENT BLOG #4 | Conflict and Peacebuilding Stream | June 9, 2017

By Sebastian Guanumen

 “By peace we mean the capacity to transform conflicts with empathy, without violence, and creatively – a never-ending process” ~ Johan Galtung

The country where I come from, as many others around the globe, has suffered from years of internal conflict that left millions of victims. The violence in Colombia, as in any other conflict-affected context, has been a shaping factor defining the cultural, social, political and economic development of the nation. I will use this space as an opportunity to bring a brief reflexion about the role of education in peacebuilding, pa in Colombia.

More than fifty years of conflict between the state and diverse insurgent groups left the education sector unprotected and vulnerable to all kind of attacks. Constant threats to teachers, recruitment of child-soldiers, forced-displacement and minefields around schools made Colombia a very hostile environment for education, especially in remote rural areas, where the conflict was cruel and persistent. All those violent actions exacerbated issues regarding the availability of qualified teachers, the inadequate infrastructure, the limited access to education, its quality, and its capacity of adapting to children’s needs and their changing environments.

Today, just a few months after the signing of the peace agreement between the government and FARC, and ad portas of its implementation, the enormous challenge of building sustainable peace in Colombia requires the commitment of a majority of the Colombian people. In order to create the conditions for a successful peacebuilding process it is important to design, plan, and implement comprehensive and transformative policies, programmes and interventions in all sectors, including education.

The transition from conflict to sustainable peace requires not only stopping explicit violence but also transforming the different expressions of structural violence that were the ground that allowed the conflict to emerge. Historically, the Colombian education sector has suffered from direct attacks while reproducing structural inequalities. However, now, in the post-conflict context, it is time to question all those violent practices, unfair hierarchies, and unjust impositions that continue to make Colombia prone to relapse into conflict. We need to move towards an education that teaches and promotes non-violent actions, equal relationships, reflection, critical thinking, and peaceful dialogue.

Even though it is the obligation of the state to secure and guarantee the right to education to all Colombian children and young people, it might not be enough if there is not a transformation in our perspective and approach to education. In this post-conflict context, education cannot be seen just as a source of human capital, development or economic growth, it should be acknowledged as a platform able to boost processes of reconciliation, reinforce the restoration of the social fabric, recognize the cultural, ethnic and political diversity, heal the collective memory of the country, reintegrate ex-combatants and bring social transformation.

As a young student who has been always committed to social justice, peace and education I look forward to hearing more about CEID´s five topics and learning from other participants’ experiences of schooling and the end of conflict and work towards peacebuilding at the CEID Symposium on June 15, 2017 at the IoE.

Sebastian Guanumen

20170609-Sebastian

Sebastian is a political scientist and current student on the MA in Educational Planning, Economics and International Development (EPEID) at the UCL Institute of Education.