Education under threat – children in the frontline, again!

“The Pakistani city of Peshawar has begun burying its dead after a Taliban attack at a school killed at least 132 children and nine staff.” (Shaimaa Khalil -BBC).

This is yet another incident to add to the stories of attacks on schools and children in such places as Nigeria and Syria. What is becoming more aparent is that, first of all, there has been a marked increase in attacks on civilians – probably due to the ease in which the perpetrators can access such places as markets. Prior to this it was assumed that military installations should be  targetted -now they have become too secure -schools, market, buses and hospitals are much easier to attack!

INEE have been working tirelessly to bring to the for, the issues around conflict and education.

Here are samples of the areas of concern raised by INEE in their latest newsletter:



Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict  
Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack

Around the world, in places experiencing armed conflict, schools and universities are becoming part of the battlefield. The use of schools and universities as bases, barracks, firing positions, and armories may transform places of learning into legitimate military objectives under international law, thus endangering students and teachers, and rendering their educational infrastructure and materials vulnerable to attack.

The presence of fighting forces in schools and universities also often leads to students dropping out, reduced enrollment, lower rates of transition to higher levels of education, and overall poorer educational attainment. Girls are often disproportionately affected.

The Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict have been drawn up with the aim of better protecting schools and universities from use by armed groups for military purposes, and to minimize the negative impact that armed conflict has on students’ safety and education. They provide concrete guidance to states and non-state armed groups for the planning and execution of military operations. They may also serve as a tool for organizations engaged in monitoring, programming, and advocacy related to the conduct of armed conflicts.

States and intergovernmental bodies are urged to encourage all parties to armed conflicts to act in accordance with these Guidelines, and to help enable them to do so.

The Guidelines are available in: EnglishArabicDutchFrench, and Spanish.

Ending the Military Use of Schools:
(Available in Arabic, Dutch, English, French, German, Japanese, Norwegian, and Spanish)

Additional Resources

The Quantitative Impact of Armed Conflict on Education 
Protecting Education in Insecurity and Conflict, CfBT Education Trust Recent media reports from Gaza, Nigeria and Syria clearly demonstrate the direct and immediate effects of armed conflict on children’s access to school. Schools are destroyed, used by military forces or occupied by displaced people. Teachers and students are killed, kidnapped, injured and traumatised. Even where schooling continues, conflict has a knock-on negative impact on learning and the quality of education received by children. A new study commissioned by PEIC The quantitative impact of armed conflict on education: counting the human and financial costs looks at the wider impacts of conflict, including collateral damage and indirect impacts on education, and finds that in quantitative terms, targeted attacks represent only the tip of the iceberg.

For the full report, click here.

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