Education plays a key role to overcome conflicts

Integration and fighting radicalism need more effort on education and culture. Learning reading and writing skills reduces the risk of poverty: 12% of people could  e lifted out of poverty if all students in poor countries had basic reading skills. In total one billion children and young people live in conflict affected areas.

REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori

Total global spending on humanitarian in 2014 amounted to 24.5 billion of dollars but only 500 million was committed to education. The EU institution contributed with about 3.2 billion of dollars. “Education and educational assistance are an integral part of the process of welcoming children who live in emergency situations, or are hosted in refugee camps. It is not a plan B. These are powerful means of psychological reassurance and prevention of every kind of exploitation and conflict” Silvia Costa president of Culture Committee at EU Parliament said introducing Educa campaign to improve access to education for all children in humanitarian emergency areas. The project has been launched by S&D group at European Parliament during the last plenary session in Strasbourg.
The socialist Meps aim to double the humanitarian funds addressed to education : from 2 to 4%. It would grant 7 million of children access to education.

The increase in the budget has been approved by European Commission and next it will have to be approved by the member states.

In 2014 humanitarian aids to education represented only 36% of financial funds required and the 60% in other sectors.

Access to education is key for integration

According to Educa data based on Unesco and other international  organizations like Save the Children, rising the number of young people having access to secondary education could potentially reduce  the risk of conflicts. Though, education alone cannot be the only solution to fight radicalism, it can play a key role to avoid the recruitment of young people by terrorists. In the world, according to ONU data, there are 37 million of children between six years and eighteen years old who do not go to school and only in Turkey 400 thousands of children refugees do not receive any form of education. In particular, women and girls are excluded: young women in conflict areas are 90% more likely to be out of secondary school than their male counterparts elsewhere.  

While four million of new classrooms and two million more teachers are needed in the world to accommodate those who are not at school in poor countries. Furthermore, the European Parliament in a resolution approved last November on education for minors and migrants in emergency situations, asked to consider employing more local teachers in poor countries and to form minors and migrants in refugees camps.

Humanitarian corridors are needed to permit migrants and refugees students to be host in EU universities, it is the recent proposal launched by Silvia Costa president of Culture Committee “The launch of this campaign is an important step forward. It integrates an earlier S&D proposal for the establishment of an "educational corridor". This would give thousands of university students living in conflict areas across the world the opportunity to access European universities,The program includes free of charge online lectures. I have asked the EU's high representative for foreign affairs, Federica Mogherini, and EU commissioner for education and culture, Tibor Navracsics, to ensure that this is achieved using both specific actions of the Erasmus Mundus programme and other resources from the trust fund for the Mediterranean countries”. Already 5 thousands Syrians , according to UNHCR data, asked to continue their studies. 


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