Education is under attack, as incidents of violence against students, teachers, union and government officials and schools are on the rise worldwide. A recently published UNESCO report, “Education under Attack 2010,” finds that political and military violence targeted at education has been reported in at least 32 countries over the past three years. In situations of armed conflict and insecurity, deliberate threats against students, academics, teachers and education facilities create a barrier to accessing quality education. The report examines the nature and extent of the problem, as well as its impact on education and development, while offering opportunities for action. This new evidence has spurred the recent formation of the Global Coalition for Protecting Education from Attack.
On May 17, the Center for Universal Education at Brookings hosted a discussion of UNESCO’s “Education under Attack 2010” report and of the action taken by the Coalition for Protecting Education from Attack with 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 Lejeune Leadership Institute. Brookings Fellow Rebecca Winthrop, co-director of the Center on Universal Education, provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion.