Blogs

Young people’s demands: sustainable peacebuilding through meaningful education

Posted on March 16, 2017 by MUNPlanet
By Mieke Lopes Cardozo
Find original blog on MUNPlanet

This article draws on research conducted as part of the Research Consortium on Education and Peacebuilding, a partnership between UNICEF, the University of Amsterdam, University of Sussex and Ulster University and research teams in Myanmar, Pakistan, South Africa and Uganda (2014-2016). Findings presented here are written up in a Synthesis Report on Youth Agency and Peacebuilding: An analysis of the role of formal and non-formal education (Lopes Cardozo, Higgins and Le Mat, 2016).

This report combines a focus on youth agency, peacebuilding and education – an intersection that is often not addressed simultaneously. Recognising education’s potential to enhance or undermine processes of sustainable peacebuilding and social cohesion, this report brings together a focus on the role of formal and non-formal education initiatives that are available to (some) youth in four conflict-affected countries: Myanmar, Pakistan, South Africa and Uganda. In addressing these issues the report aims to provide useful analysis and reflection for a range of audiences including scholars, practitioners and other professionals working in youth-related policy and programming as well as youth themselves, whose voice is too frequently marginalized.

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Education as a Stronghold? The Ambiguous Connections between Education, Resilience and Peacebuilding

Posted on February 19, 2015 by NORRAG
By Mieke Lopes Cardozo
Find original blog on NORRAG NEWSbite
This blog is based on NORRAG Policy Research Note #2 on “Education as a Stronghold? The Ambiguous Connections between Education, Resilience and Peacebuilding” (February 2015)

In a NORRAG NEWSBite blog-post Roger Dale (2014) convincingly argued how “without theory, there are only opinions”, in response to the seemingly unquestioned belief in ‘big data’ country comparisons and the political implications connected to PISA survey results. This argument, I believe, could also be loosely applied with a different focus, namely the recent massive adoption of the concept of resilience by actors working in the field of Education, Conflict (or Peacebuilding) and Emergencies. I argue there is a need for a solid theorisation and understanding of the roots and current conceptualisations of the term resilience, in order to unravel how, why and in what ways this swift adoption of this resilience discourse might impact on the experiences of those actually living educational realities in emergency or conflict situations. To search for common ground and a way to bridge the work (and thinking) of humanitarian, reconstruction and development actors in (post-)conflict and emergency situations, resilience has recently been adopted as a potential ‘glue’ between those sectors – also when looking at the role of education. But what do we really mean when we use the concept resilience?

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Beyond Learning Outputs: Reflections on the Measurement of ‘Education for All’ in the Post-2015 Scenario

Posted on Tuesday October 15, 2013 by Education in Crisis
By Antoni Verger, Adrián Zancajo and Xavier Bonal
Find original blog on Education in Crisis website

In the context of the post-2015 debate, many stakeholders are advocating for the introduction of a learning-related goal as the most appropriate way to monitor educational progress in low-income countries. Of course, good quality education systems should provide all children with the same opportunities to learn, as well as to enjoy a satisfactory and safe schooling experience. Learning is one of the most important outputs in all education systems, but, from a development perspective, educational learning cannot be measured and monitored in a vacuum.A good measure of educational development should be holistic in essence. It should combine learning with other indicators that cover both those conditions that, precisely, foster student learning, as well as the strengths and weaknesses in the different dimensions that, beyond outputs, form education systems. The emphasis that is too often placed on learning results neglects the fact that there are other elements in education systems that are indispensable for understanding student development and cognition. Therefore, a comprehensive measure of educational development should pay attention to the ways in which different educational dimensions are mutually constituted as well as the ways in which they influence each another.This article aims at contributing to the post-2015 education agenda debate by defining a methodological and conceptual framework that can help to envision a comprehensive measure of educational progress.

 

The Right to Education in Situations of Conflict-Affected and Fragile States – a Post-2015 Priority?

Posted on September 16, 2013 by norrag
By Mieke Lopes Cardozo & Ritesh Shah, University of Amsterdam & University of Auckland.
Find original blog on NORRAG NEWSBite
A strong message
On her sixteenth birthday on 12 July 2013, Malala Yousafzai stood before a crowd at the United Nations in New York and proclaimed a strong message:
“I speak not for myself, but so those without a voice can be heard. Those who have fought for their rights. Their right to live in peace. Their right to be treated with dignity. Their right to equality of opportunity. Their right to be educated.”
Nine months earlier, she had been attacked by the Taliban on her way to the school. Malala was shot in the forehead in a failed attempt to silence her active role in promoting the rights of children, particularly girls, who were being denied their right to education by ongoing conflict in her home country of Pakistan.
Navigating the post-2015 debates
This month, the global community will gather at the United Nations General Assembly to further discuss what the post-2015 global development agenda will look like. It now looks increasingly certain that education will continue to figure within this agenda (see for example the work of the High Level Panel at the United Nations). The focus in the post-2015 conversations on education has been on shifting from access to greater equity, from primary education to learning across a continuum, and/or towards an emphasis on quality learning and skill outcomes. The World Bank’s current 2020 education strategy (Learning for All) represents aspects of this shift. Today, many agree on the necessity of considering more ambitious and sophisticated education targets in comparison to those that were included in previous frameworks, particularly in the MDGs. The importance of taking equity, together with quality, as core principles in the post-2015 agenda generates a consensus among key stakeholders, as is illustrated in a posting of the UK Forum for International Education and Training. But how will the right to education for children in conflict-affected situation – a right that Malala so passionately fights for – figure in these new global mandates for development?

 

Education: who cares?

Posted on April 9, 2013 by DevEd Community in Series: education and poverty
Find original blog on DevEd
Mieke Lopes Cardozo and Ralph Schreinemachers argue why education should remain a priority area.
Mieke T.A. Lopes Cardozo and Ralph Schreinemachers, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

It’s the education, stupid!
The Dutch newspaper NRC Next opens on the 17th of December 2012 with the title ‘Who Cares?’ and a full page picture of children attending a school in an unspecified country in Africa.  The title refers to a debate on the budget cuts on development aid to be held in parliament that day. It is a justified question. Globally there are 250 million children that receive no or poor quality education. Are we concerned in Europe with the right to (good) education in countries in the so-called Global South? And maybe more relevant, should we be concerned? We argue that education matters – also, and maybe even more so – in times of ‘crisis’.

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