In his “Agenda for Humanity” vision for the first ever World Humanitarian Summit, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon set forth five core responsibilities of global leaders to end human suffering and recognize our common humanity. It is clear that we can achieve none of the five core responsibilities without education – but for now let’s focus on education’s impact on core responsibility number one: to “Prevent and End Conflict.”
A World at School has been joined by a number of leading education organizations in recent months in highlighting the ways in which the right to education is threatened during emergencies, conflicts and protracted crises. Education is one of the first things sacrificed in an emergency – it is under-prioritized and under-funded. In 2015 alone, 80 million children and adolescents had their education disrupted due to crises and disasters, yet only 1.4% of all humanitarian aid went to education. Another side of the coin, however, reveals that education is not merely another casualty of emergencies but has the potential to be a very powerful tool for building sustainable peace and preventing future violence.