Education service provision in situations of conflict and emergencies: the case of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Gulu District, Uganda
Pimundu, James, M.
MetadataShow full item record
Education is considered one of the principle determinants of development. This explains why most governments, humanitarian agencies and individuals continue to invest heavily in the sector despite the numerous challenges. This investment and prioritization is determined by factors such as the political agenda, vision, mission, the history and geography of the country. Others include the attitude of the population and politicians, geographical location, availability and distribution of resources, conflicts and disasters. Different countries, governments, individuals and development agencies have adopted different strategies and approaches during different circumstances. A case in point is the atrocious over 20 year old civil war in northern Uganda between the government of Uganda and the Lords resistant army (LRA) characterized by massive displacement, destruction of infrastructures, death, disease and general disruption of normal life. The main objective of this study was to examine the nature, type, relevance of education services being provided to the conflict-affected population of Gulu and the roles of the various stakeholders through the use and adoption of both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. A total of one hundred twenty three questionnaires, nine key informant interviews administered and five focus group discussions were conducted to IDPs households, students, non governmental organizations, local government leadership and officials, educationists, and other key informants in Unyama IDP camp and Gulu municipality. The quantitative data was analyzed using statistical package for social scientists (SPSS) while major themes were identified from the qualitative data that enabled the researcher to construct the bigger picture of education in northern Uganda. The research highlighted the need for Education that is flexible, of high quality, child centered, focuses on gender equity, sustainability and empowerment. It was also noted that education is a right and had to be provided to the IDPs irrespective of the prevailing security situation. In effect, although the government of Uganda and the other development actors were providing, preparing and equipping the IDPs with skills and knowledge for the eventual return, resettlement to normalcy, future development and addressing both stress and trauma, this was greatly hampered due to the insecurity in the region. Generally, providing education to conflict-affected population enhances knowledge and skills, creates a social capital, changes individual and community world views, leads to social cohesion, provides psychosocial support, and addresses the various rights as enshrined in the national constitution and other international and regional protocols. Major focus should be geared towards providing education to most deprived, excluded and vulnerable persons such as the disabled persons, orphans and girl. The research findings is beneficial in setting programming options and Advocacy agenda through influencing individuals, the academia, central and local governments’. The non-governmental Organizations’ can also utilize the findings to influence their responses, prioritization, resource allocation, and policy.