This post is the 9th in a blog series published in 2020 in the context of a collaboration between the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).
September 21st marks the International Day of Peace. Established in 1981 by the United Nations, this day is devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.
It also showcases some of the initiatives that countries have put in place to end conflict (e.g. peace caravans, tree planting for peace, music concerts, sensitization on emerging forms of violence, etc.).
This year’s theme is “Shaping Peace Together.” As we reflect on this theme, it is important to state from the onset that peace is a collaborative effort. No community or individual can achieve it alone. This draws attention to the importance of collaborative action in ending conflict and promoting peace throughout the world.
This year is also the AU theme of ‘Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development’. Let’s remember that silencing the guns means quality education!
Impact of conflicts on education
When war erupts, education is the most adversely affected sector. Violent conflict continues to pose social-economic challenges to the African continent – destroying infrastructure, impacting teachers, swelling number of students out of school and impacting the most vulnerable.
As of June 2019, 9,272 schools were closed or had become non-operational and almost 2 million children had been robbed of an education due to violence and insecurity in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Niger and Nigeria.