On May 17, the Center for Universal Education at Brookings hosted an experts’ discussion on the recently published UNESCO report, “Education under Attack 2010.” The report finds that political and military violence targeted at education has been reported in at least 32 countries over the past three years. The discussion brought together a small group of education experts in a wide range of fields and included a discussion of the recently launched Global Coalition for Protecting Education from Attack.
The event opened with presentations from Brendan O’Malley, author of the UNESCO report, Chris Talbot of Education Above All and chair of the Global Coalition for Protecting Education from Attack, Bede Sheppard of Human Rights Watch, and Major Carroll Connelley of the Marine Corps University. Brookings Fellow and Center for Universal Education Co-Director Rebecca Winthrop served as moderator for the discussion.
Mr. O’Malley introduced the topic by detailing the types of attacks, including assassinations of teachers and administrations, sexual violence against students on their way to school, forced political programs in schools, and physical destruction of schools, that are considered attacks on education. Between January 2007 and July 2009, the worst-affected areas were Afghanistan, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, India, Iraq, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, Somalia and Zimbabwe.