We have discussed in great detail how education has the potential to carry out a more heinous role if ill-intended.
But, the way I see it in a post-conflict area, it is most important to focus on education and reform educational institutes to allow children time to heal and process. I hold education as a tool for post-conflict states integral because it gives citizens a chance to rebuild.
But the more important question is, how do you return to "normal" in terms of educational prospects?
1. Curriculum: In a post-conflict setting, it is essential to reform the curriculum to allow it to be tailored to the needs of a post-conflict state and its citizens. Transparency in terms of why the state encountered conflict is important in laying down the foundation to learn from past mistakes (Cole and Barsalou, 2006). Not only this, there needs to be a reform pertaining to the history courses as that allows space to take ownership of the country's narrative in peacebuilding. Most importantly, there needs to be psycho-social help provided to every student. This is paramount as it will allow the child to heal from the trauma of witnessing a conflict, losing a loved one, losing a home, etc.
2. Peace Education
This conversation ties to the idea of "Peace Education (Harris and Morrison, 2011)." One where an individual is taught the repercussions of violence and several possible strategies to bring about peace. I find this concept most important because it allows young, impressionable minds to understand the implications of violence and teaches them a more peaceful way to mitigate political or social divides.
3. Teacher Development
One is not obvilious in understanding the pivotal role a teacher plays in the well-being of an individual. Teachers become even more important in a post-conflict setting because they help students heal and deal with the trauma they have faced. A teacher who lacks a professional understanding of the unique needs of a student who stems from a post-conflict area will not be able to cater to him the way someone with professional training can. Capacity-building workshops for teachers need to be implemented so they can learn different learning and teaching styles that can cover longer absences from the classroom. UNESCO-Liberia trained over 1300 teachers in 3 countries, improving children's classroom experiences.
4. Equality in Acess to Education
It is integral that everyone is given the opportunity to receive an education, especially young children. Education is the only way social factions can find cohesion within society. Education helps with uniform experiences, quality of life, and standard of living.
The only way I see this is through government intervention, greater resource allocation, and more concentration acknowledgement of the role education plays in one's life.
There's, of course, a lot more to do in post-conflict areas to educate people, but these are some stepping stones. However, the ease and how pragmatic implication of such policy mechanisms is, is a whole other discussion.