On August 29, 2018, Dr. Tejendra Pherali, Senior Lecturer in the Institute of Education (IOE) at University College London (UCL), delivered a Development Management Policy Seminar on “Learning in the Chaos: A Political Economy Analysis of Education in Afghanistan”. The presentation drew on Dr. Pherali’s recently published co-authored paper on “Learning in the Chaos: A Political Economy Analysis of Education in Afghanistan”.. The seminar was held in the main conference room of Kobe University’s Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies (GSICS).
Dr. Pherali started his presentation by introducing interconnections between education and conflict and the role of education in promoting peace in conflict-affected areas. He went on to present how education can be a “victim” within conflict zones. During a conflict, schools often face violent attacks from conflicting parties, which could have a debilitating impact on a country’s education system. In addition, Dr. Pherali explained how education can fuel conflict, yet play an important role as a peacebuilder to facilitate peace, social justice, and democratization processes.
Dr. Pherali then provided Afghanistan’s significant achievements in terms of the number of enrollments and establishment of schools after the Taliban’s departure in 2001. However, he pointed out that three key challenges still remain in Afghanistan: insecurity, corruption, and weak governance, which undermine the quality of learning and future prospects for Afghan children. Finally, Dr. Pherali discussed the disconnection between local level educational initiatives and the political agenda of the elitist Afghan state and international authorities which reproduce tensions and failures in education.
The seminar was very informative and inspirational for the participants as it provided a critical analysis of the relationship between education and conflict in Afghanistan. During the question and answer session, participants engaged in discussions and asked a number of questions to clarify pertinent issues related to the future of education in Afghanistan and other conflict-affected areas. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Pherali for providing us with such a stimulating presentation and giving us the chance to learn from his work in this important research.
If you are interested in Dr Pherali’s research, you may visit his webpage.
Authored by Masaya NOGUCHI (Master Student)
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