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By Prof. Pradeep Bhargava, Dr. Shilp Shikha Singh, Rahul Mehta, Pradeepta Sundray and Noni Meetei Kandhmal district of Orissa

Conflicts build consciousness. During conflict, consciousness of the self and the other reconstitutes the social and makes a new beginning. Conflicts are often characterized by displacement, deprivation, uncertainties, fracturing of old relationships, new networks,parallel conflicting administrative regimes, state apathy and persistent fear of death. Attimes, there could be camaraderie among the affected populations. At the same time theremay be intense competition for scarce commodities. For children, the most vulnerable ofall, conflicts that beget violence could be traumatic. It could alter, distort and defer their full realization as humans, as members of civic society. The denial of educational opportunity during conflict can further complicate their development as individuals.

In conflict situations, children are subjected to a number of hardships. The common understanding of education and conflict focuses on the modes tomake education conducive to peace building and how education can inculcate resiliencein fragile conditions.

This study focuses the impact of conflict oneducation; on the response of the conflict society to dominant modes of educational assimilative strategies; and how conflict society challenge the hegemony of mainstream education and gives a cultural and linguistic response.

The purpose of documenting educational processes among children in conflict situationsis to enable NEG-FIRE understand the situation so as to design appropriate strategies and programmes for educating children.

The objectives of the research are

  1. A review of present literature about children education in conflict prone areas in reports from a cross-section of agencies, including the United Nations and international donor agencies;
  2. A situational analysis of the area, the SalwaJudumcamps in Chattisgarh, about livelihood conditions, status of children's education, schools, and teachers;
  3. An assessment of the present teaching learning environment; and the perceptions of parents and civil authorities regarding education; and
  4. Indicate possible strategies for the NEG Fire to undertake.

The areas of inquiry are conflict/ crisis zones in the following area:

  1. Children in Conflict Affected areas in Chattisgarh
  2. Children in Conflict Affected areas in Jharkhand
  3. Children in ethnic conflict in Manipur
  4. Children of minority Christians in Orissa
  5. Children of Muslim minority in Gujarat

(For the Executive Summary, contact research@negfire.org)