The Impact of Gaza War on Primary School Education

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Literature on education during emergencies and war times have widely tackled issues related to access to primary education (Save the Children Alliance, 2010; Save The Children UK 2007; Dicum, 2008; Lynn, 2005), fragility of the education system and the lack of quality peaceful education (UNESCO, 2000; Smith,2005; Sommers 2002; Davies, 2005), post traumatic stress disorder among students and the increase of violence inside the school and how these impact the outcomes of the educational process (Khamis, 2005; Henrich et al, 2004; Darwish, 2009), preparedness for post war education (Kagawa, 2005; Beckman, 2001; Dicum, Buckland, 2006). Most of this literature has emerged from the United Nation Convention on the Right of the Child, article 28 and 29 in particular.

The two articles accentuate children's right to have access to good quality primary education that contribute the to the formation of their "personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential" and "in a manner consistent with the child's human dignity" .

In 2007 some 77 million children were reported commissioned by UNESCO as not enrolled in a primary school and in situation where they are enrolled, they most likely do not attend regularly. Among these children, 40 million are caught up in risky environments that endanger their physical, emotional and cognitive development . Children growing up in conflict have higher potentiality to be used for Child Soldier

Smith seeks to examine the relationship between education, development and conflict and how each of these influences the other two. He explains how conflict impedes development and certainly leads to poverty. In the meantime, conflict and domestic violence in many cases emerge in countries where the economic and educational sectors can be described as well-developed. Smith discusses the nature under which education as a process is provided and how accesses to education does not necessary lead to the desired type of education that is concerned with providing quality education based on the Millennium Development Goals and later by the Education for All (EFA) initiative. Tomasevski argues in that access to education is not an end by itself but what most importantly matters is the access to quality education that is constructed according to recognized human rights where the content, values and processes go in coherence with these rights.

Regardless of the fact that international laws and human rights principles have stressed on the importance of protecting the civil rights of children and education is on the top of these rights, education is still confronted with many challenges. These laws call countries or parties that are involved in violence to ensure that children are provided with good quality education either under state control or under the power of the occupier. However, Smith criticizes the accountability of these conventions as they are only effective in formal wars and they tend to be inefficient during non formal conflicts which happens between groups within the same country.

Literature concerned about education during war times has some gaps between the theory of this sensitive topic and the actual practices during this particular time. The environment where the conflict is taken place, preparedness and the level of conflict are essential determiners of the efficiency of the educational services provided. Sommers believes that weakness of the local governments and the local education providers during warm times and the lack of sufficient policies and actions by the international stakeholder are the main challenges for maintaining education within acceptable standards. Local governments, on the one hand tend to have very low capacity either at the administrative level or the financial one on meeting the education sector requirements. On the other hand, international agencies dedicate most of their efforts to humanitarian assistance emerging from the crisis. Sommers emphasizes the importance of a well-established emergency education system that takes into consideration the importance of having neutral formal education system that is able to address the psychological needs of the students and the teachers.

Long-term conflict and violence affect the state's ability to deliver public services. The absence of rule of law, security and wise decision making makes the education system's functionality very poor. The International Agency for Education in Emergencies-INEE highlighted in its recent study the relationship between war and the fragility of the education system. The study questions the mechanism under which educational services are provided and "the dynamics impacting the 'who', 'what', 'how' and 'why' associated with their delivery can further complicate and negatively impact the quality of what children and youth experience in the classroom". Economic and financial situation during the war makes the state's ability to invest in the educational sector very poor. This will result in decreasing the quality of education and lack of equality in funding among different geographical areas within the state and will have very negative impact on school enrolments among students and gender equality as well as child labour.

during war times has led study that around 72 million children are caught up in violence and are prevented from having access to education. The study elaborates on the factors beyond this crisis as

the impact of fragility on delivering the educational services. The report details how chaos

Education service delivery under conflict situations

It has been widely documented that fragility1 has a major, negative impact on service delivery, given the potential lack of capacity and/or will to provide basic services in extremely difficult circumstances. Insecurity and risk inevitably affect decision-making at all levels, exacerbated by the presence of fighting forces and the breakdown of rule of law, and underfunded, disjointed service delivery can leave the education system vulnerable to endemic corruption, systematic exclusion, neglect and poor management. Thus, the broad social patterns of fragility are accordingly "mapped" in the delivery of education services; educational systems may be interpreted as representative of fragility dynamics at play at the local and national level, reflecting political as well as technical constraints or patterns of resilience. (p 4)

The relation between education and conflict

In any case, education's potential to either mitigate or exacerbate conflict and fragility will be a result of nuanced interfaces between education policies, planning and programming and the drivers and dynamics of conflict and fragility. Understanding this nuance means grappling with the subtle ways in which the details of education design and implementation can impact on the range of drivers and dynamics of conflict and fragility in a context. The specific gradated meanings that those impacts will have in a given context will be based on the unique arrangement of specific characteristics of education and of fragility in that context. Nuance then refers to the subtlety, the detail and the context-specific nature of the relationship between education and conflict/fragility that results in and from complex interfaces. (p 4)

Case Study: Gaza War (3500)

Physical damages of the war (facilities, causalities

Traumatic effects of the war on primary school students (War on Gaza: Trauma, grief, and PTSD in Palestinian children victims of War on Gaza)

Learning difficulties and achievements

التحصيل و الدافعية نحو التعلم لتلاميذ المرحلة الأساسية بعد الحرب على غزة

School violence among teachers and students

Dropping out from school (socio economic factors)

Rise of poverty after war ICRC

Teachers' motivation and lack of post war teaching experience ""&HYPERLINK ""a=117610

Student-Teacher rehabilitation programs and shortage in teachers

see reaching education for all objectives

Conclusion (600)

Education during emergency times has received great attention by international institutions concerned by child rights. The impact of war on children and their ability to overcome the extremely negative experiences they have witnessed were referred to in a study supported by the UN Secretary General during the 1990s. The study discussed the best educational policies and strategies to be taken in order to ensure children receive proper education and in a healthy environment where psychological counselling for post-traumatic effects is provided. In addition, the reported stressed on the importance of protecting children from child soldiers, sex crimes .