Conflict and situations of insecurity deprives millions of young people of an education globally, a crisis that is the focus of a new course at QF partner Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q).
Offered in collaboration with the Protect Education in Insecurity and Conflict programme of the Education Above All Foundation (EAA), the course, “Education and Conflict” is the first of its kind in the university's curriculum.
The aim is to introduce GU-Q students to the importance of education for global human development and the necessity of protecting education from conflict, insecurity, and health crises.
The dean of GU-Q, Dr Ahmad Dallal, commented, “Through this collaboration, which brings together our university’s commitment to academic excellence and service with EAA’s expertise in education policy, we hope to inspire our students to consider the fight for education rights in terms of global citizenship and responsibility.” He went on to emphasize the importance of the course, saying “By empowering young learners with the knowledge, skills, and understanding of the stakes involved, we can contribute to the global effort to protect education in conflict and crisis, and prepare the next generation of leaders who will shape the policies that will create real change.”
The course is led by Dr Anne Nebel, associate dean for Teaching, Learning and Assessment, and will feature guest lectures from experts at EAA and Educate a Child, as well as GU-Q alumni working in related fields and GU-Q students working as EAA Youth Advocates.
Students will learn about various kinds of disruption to education and methods of analysing the impact of conflict and insecurity for the individual and society, on local and international levels. They will examine the role of international frameworks in addressing the crisis and apply their learning to a class blog project which will document student analysis and ideas for change. Dr Nebel said, “One of the things we really wanted and hoped would come out of this course and collaboration, is for students to contribute in real time to the thinking of solving this crisis in education.”
She also noted how Covid-19 has highlighted additional inequalities affecting education such as access to the internet and educational technologies, and created urgency around developing solutions.
Students of the course will also be taking part in the #UniteToProtect social media campaign leading up to the first ever International Day to Protect Education From Attack, a United Nations General Assembly resolution adopted to mobilise action to safeguard education in armed conflict. GU-Q is also an EAA partner in the campaign, which will culminate in the official launch on September 9, a high-level online event that will feature addresses from Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of EAA and UN Sustainable Development Goals Advocate, António Guterres, secretary general of the United Nations, and other high-level speakers.