| || || Ricky, Fredolyn Don|
| || || The impact of conflict and the role of education in peacebuilding and social reconstruction in a post-conflict society : a case study of Solomon Islands |
Author:Ricky, Fredolyn Don
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Award: M.A. Development Studies
Subject: Social conflict -- Study and teaching -- Solomon Islands, Peace-building -- Study and teaching -- Solomon Islands, Social problems -- Study and teaching -- Solomon Islands
Call No.: pac HN 933 .R53 2015
Copyright:40-60% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission
Abstract: The ethnic conflict and violence in Solomon Islands from 1998 to 2003 affected many essential services and sectors in the country. Amongst these services, education was one that was hard hit. Many schools were closed indefinitely as the crisis heightened and the movement of students from Guadalcanal and Honiara to the other provinces exacerbated the already existing problems of training facilities and education materials. The study critically analyses the relationship between conflict and the education system, particularly the kind of education curricula that existed in the country. Moreover, it explores ways through which education can contribute to conflict resolution, peacebuilding and social reconstruction in post-conflict societies like Solomon Islands. The effects of ethnic conflict and violence on schools and communities in the country were investigated at five schools on Guadalcanal and their host communities nearby. Important components of the study include theoretical discussion of concepts such as conflict, education, conflict resolution, peace building and social reconstruction. It identifies the impacts of the ethnic conflict and violence in the following specific areas: 1) individuals (i.e. personal impacts); 2) loss of paid employment; 3) denial of education services; and 4) material losses. Besides, the study also identify the following issues: 1) the challenges encountered by educators in the post conflict period; 2) the impact of ethnic conflict and violence on community integration; and 3) the impact of ethnic conflict and violence on the social status of communities. The study confirms that the ethnic conflict and violence on Guadalcanal significantly affected, and even cost, many iii lives. Homes and villages were burnt to the ground; schools closed and people lost their jobs as they escaped the violence. The study also critically analyses the education policy during the period of ethnic conflict and its aftermath. It found that education provision was successful through the Education Sector Investment and Reform Programme (ESIRP) that allowed for the commitment of the donor partners, especially the European Union (EU) and New Zealand aid (NZAID) to commit funds through the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD). They provided the ministry with financial and technical support for the implementation of Education Strategic Plan 2004, a critical post-conflict period. Demobilization, disarmament and rehabilitation programmes were carried out by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other agencies in Solomon Islands through the help of the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI). Australian aid financed some school facilities, particularly those in conflict affected communities, through a Community Peace Restoration Fund (CPRF). The European Union, NZAID and nongovernmental organizations also worked closely with the Solomon Islands Government (SIG) to support returnee refugees, including the provision of education services. Despite this positive undertaking, the education system badly needs prioritisation and reconstruction. Education in the Solomon Islands needs to be precise in articulating iv education philosophy that is relevant to the national context. A relevant policy that deals with reintegration of ex-combatants and considering accelerating learning programme for students who have missed out on education during the conflict is important. This is important in the process of preparing young Solomon Islanders for adult roles and responsibilities in their communities.