Published by Sam Wolf
In post-conflict countries, countless challenges face the survivors. Among these challenges is education, and ECOSOC is actively looking for solutions.
To start, Germany understands the topic well and has narrowed the field to three main areas of focus: improving security, finding resources, and lowering costs. They have allied with Japan and Kuwait to draft a lengthy resolution addressing these areas and more.
One of the main problems with implementing education in these war-torn countries is finding the staff and resources to maintain a school. To tackle this, Nigeria is working to establish a “guest teacher” program of sponsored educators. “These temporary advisors will help stabilize the education in these countries, and once they have done their job, they will be sent back,” explains the delegate of Nigeria.
Although this is a short-term goal, it will hopefully have long-term effects. “Education is the most powerful weapon known to man,” says the delegate. “Whenever you want to look at the future of a people, you have to look at its youth. And if its youth aren’t educated, people won’t get anywhere.”
In nations like Syria, facing civil war, education becomes a security issue. According to the delegate of Nigeria, children are unsafe walking down the street because of an oppressive child soldier regime. “It’s hard for them to even reach to school,” they say. One of the steps to getting these children education will be ensuring their safety and providing motivation.
Lebanon, who has been facing civil war, has made a step toward national unity by electing a new president this October. They have also been receiving lots of refugees, and have been working to find aid for these people before determining how to address education.
The UN has made significant progress trying to administer education in post-conflict countries. Organizations like UNICEF, UNHCR and UNESCO and the UN Development Programme have been working hard with nations to reach their goals. One of the countries who has utilised these resources is Turkey, who has been facing an influx of Syrian refugees. “Turkey itself has launched temporary education centers and are allowing Syrian children with IDs to enroll in Turkish public schools,” comments the delegate from Turkey. They also specialize in instructing teachers how to deal with the emotional trauma children may be facing.
“Our main goal is making sure Syrian refugees are comfortable and can assimilate into society if they do choose to stay in Turkey. Implementing this on a larger scale would be beneficial,” they add. Other resources for Turkey include the Red Cross and the Peace Corps, to help them educate teachers and manage injuries sustained from conflict.
After a brutal war, countries are in need of all the resources they can get. It is comforting to know that UN committees like ECOSOC are working towards accessible education and sustained recovery.