Impeding Access to Quality Education: Culture, Gender, and Funding
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This chapter addresses the topic of access to a quality education. It argues that a quality education not only implies having appropriate books, curricula, and skilled teachers, but also safe learning environments that are able to foster the growth of healthy students and communities. In fragile societies and post-conflict settings, access to quality education is often given less priority relative to other issues such as infrastructure rebuilding and the implementation of peace agreements. This chapter posits that cultural practices, gender issues, and funding mechanisms impede access to quality education and these problem areas should be given a high priority in the post-conflict reconstruction process. It discusses cultural practices as they relate to access to quality education as well as how they relate to gender. The inclusion of women in peace processes and how their inclusion is connected with access to quality education will also be addressed. Lastly, funding is examined as a key determinant of educational access to demonstrate how a lack of it can feed into identity, racial, and ethnic contestation and harm communities recovering from violence. India, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Pakistan, Afghanistan, Liberia, Rwanda, and South Africa are examined as case studies.
KeywordsImpeded Access Quality Education Fragile Societies Ethnic Contestation United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
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