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Education in Post-Conflict Zones. Patrick Fine, DAA/AFR. 22 September, 2005. Democratic Republic of the Congo. Classrooms before reconstruction. Democratic Republic of the Congo. Classrooms after reconstruction. Mozambique. Students in a school built by USAID after the war. Afghanistan.

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Education in post conflict zones

Education in Post-Conflict Zones

Patrick Fine, DAA/AFR

22 September, 2005

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Classrooms before reconstruction.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Classrooms after reconstruction.


Students in a school built by USAID after the war.


Girls in a new school.


Building a new school in Herat.


Students at the newly built Ramack High School.


A temporary tent classroom in Konduz.


Enthusiastic students at Ecole Lyndiane, a school in the capital of the Casamance region.


Ecole Lyndiane was overrun by rebels and government soldiers during the war, since there was an army post next door.


Since 2001, USAID has assisted Ecole Lyndiane and it is now one of the best schools in the area.

Sierra Leone

Much of Sierra Leone’s education infrastructure was shattered during the war.

Sierra Leone

USAID has been working to rebuild schools in the areas most hard hit.

Sierra Leone

Students and their teacher at a newly reconstructed school in Koindu.

Sierra Leone

A headmaster in front of his new secondary school in Koindu.


Schools in southern Sudan are virtually nonexistent.


Most students, such as these in the Equatoria region, do not have environments conducive to learning.


Large numbers of children in northern Uganda attend school in the camps for internally displaced persons where they live.


These students attend school in the Kitgum camp for IDPs.


Class size is often extremely high.


Most of the children live in fear of being abducted by rebel groups.

Immediate Needs – Focus on Restoring Order

Re-establish order/routine in a community

Provide care for younger children/control older children

Provide food through school feeding

Extend the reach of the government


Externally financed/organized

Can have important symbolic and political effect due to high visibility

More to do with restoring order than educating kids

Uses emergency structures

Tents/schools under trees

May have limited connection to formal system

Donors fairly coordinated

  • Reconstruction Phase – Focus on Access

    • Build/reconstruct schools

    • Distribution of simple learning materials

      • use or slightly modified textbooks

    • Use of unqualified teachers to staff schools

    • Use of alternative approaches

      • Radio instruction and teacher training

      • NFE/community based schooling

      • Literacy classes


  • Mostly externally financed

  • Combination of external and local leadership/organization

  • Uses existing institutional structures

  • Less donor coordination as scope of interventions grows

  • Capacity Building Phase – Focus shifts to Quality

    • Institutional Issues Begin to Supplant Access

      • Effectiveness/mngt. of Ministry of Education

      • Training for teachers/Ministry staff

    • Concern with Whether kids in school are learning

      • Curriculum issues come into focus

        • New content in texts – (what texts says becomes more important than simply having texts)

        • promotion of democracy, human rights, women’s rights, tolerance, etc.

      • Relevence of what is taught economic life

        • Vocational skills


  • Mostly externally financed, increasing local leadership

  • Increased formalization

  • Some Issues

    • What standards for buildings, textbooks, teacher qualifications, etc. should be adopted? How should these be set?

    • At what point should local sustainability become a central issue? How can sustainability be balanced against the need for immediate response?

    • How can local leadership be balanced with lack of skills/capacity and need for extensive planning, procurements, organization, and supervision?

    • How can national planners/implementers ensure community participation/ownership?