Mieke Lopes Cardozo & Ritesh Shah
Can education be used to create sustainable peace?
Can education be used to create peace? Can it help mend long standing issues in conflict afflicted regions? These questions don’t have easy answers, but we’ll jump into the debates surrounding them feet first.
My guests today, Mieke Lopes Cardozo and Ritesh Shah, have been studying education, social transformations, and peacebuilding for the past decade and have worked and written together since 2011. They find that education has the capacity for both positive and negative outcomes. Education can certainly help resolve conflict by creating community and giving voice to under-represented groups in society. However, education can also be used as tool by ruling elites as a way to maintain their grip on power, which may sow further divisions in society.
Think of it this way: imagine if a ruling party in a country decides to censor content from history textbooks that may question its power. Would that really create the conditions under which peace is possible? Or imagine if minority groups are purposefully excluded from school-based decisions. How can peace be sustainable if the structures of education systematically exclude certain people? These issues are not strange or reserved for “poor” or “developing” countries. In fact, the politics of education happens in every country.
With me to talk about peacebuilding and education are Mieke Lopes Cardozo and Ritesh Shah. Mieke is assistant professor in International Development Studies at the Institute of Social Science Research at the University of Amsterdam, and Ritesh is a Senior Lecturer of Comparative and International Education at the University of Auckland.
Citation: Lopes Cardozo, Mieke & Shah, Ritesh, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 68, podcast audio, April 10, 2017. https://freshedpodcast.com/cardozo-shah/
Will Brehm 3:23
Mieke Lopes Cardozo and Ritesh Shah, welcome to FreshEd.
Mieke Lopes Cardozo 3:27
Thank you. Thanks for organizing this.
Ritesh Shah 3:30
And thanks to you, Will.
Will Brehm 3:31
So, you have been working on education in post-conflict settings. What is the relationship between education and post-conflict settings?
Mieke Lopes Cardozo 3:43
Thanks for that question, Will. It’s an interesting way to start our conversation. The relationship between education and post-conflict settings is, I think, often underestimated, and often education is not necessarily seen as a priority, either in peacebuilding approaches or even in education reform, it’s not necessarily seen as a priority to look at the relationship with conflict. Now, in the work that we do, we try to overcome this lack of awareness. We actually try to bridge these two points of focus, so to actually look at the role both positive and negative that education can play in post-conflict areas and in relation to the building of peace and sustainable peace.
Will Brehm 4:42
So, what sort of positive role would education play in building sustainable peace?
Mieke Lopes Cardozo 4:49
Education could play a positive role in several ways. It could support … kind of at different levels it could support individuals in terms of finding a sense of normalcy in situations of emergency and crisis. Education can provide structure, even a sense of hope for a better future. Education can potentially bring communities together. It can potentially also support the dealing with the past, dealing with grievances, and even with trauma. And I use the word potential quite a few times because education can, unfortunately, also do some harm in some cases.
Will Brehm 5:52
So how can education do harm?
Ritesh Shah 5:55
Well, I think there’s actually quite a few different ways that education could do harm. There is actually … so, if we were to just take the point of access, which has been the focus of, say, the development agenda over the last 20 years. If we think about access, we can think about the fact that sometimes who has access to schooling can be shaped by who’s in power, and who people in power want to be going to schooling, and who they don’t want to be going to schooling. So, a really good example of that is in Rwanda, where, over time, the division between the Tutsis and Hutus have led basically to different processes of marginalization, first during colonization, and then after independence. And in both periods, one of the two groups was kind of marginalized in terms of accessing education, and that would have been through quite strict discrimination practices, such as racial quotas, or through kind of, I guess, less direct forms of lack of access, such as language of instruction. So, you know, there’s a great quote from one scholar, Degu, who says, “those, who control political and economic power, tend to allocate priority of educational opportunities, first and foremost, to their own children, and then to those who are next in line in maintaining the power holder’s position of interest.” And so, we need to remember that education is political, and education has power, and it can oftentimes be used to reproduce those structures of power. There’s also this question of relevance. And there can be a sense that when education is not seen to be relevant, or when it’s purposely made to not be relevant, it can also trigger conflict. And that can happen through – as I’ve already talked about – things like the language of instruction. And there are many parts of the world where this has been the case. One of the examples that we’ve looked at is, or actually Mieke’s looked at in more detail, is Sri Lanka, where, for example, the Sinhalese speaking majority, basically, were the ones in control of the system, but also, because there was a sense of alienation, you ended up with a two-tiered system. So, you have the Sinhalese language schools, which were for the majority, and then the Tamil schools. Of course, they weren’t resourced the same; they were kind of segregated and separated. So, when we talk about ideas of social cohesion across the nation, it can actually cause or reproduce those divisions. And then, I guess the last area is in terms of whose voices are represented in schooling or in schooling decision making. And there’s been long-standing debates around whether centralization or decentralization is a good thing. But I think those questions are particularly important in context of conflict because research has actually shown both ways that in some context, centralization can lead to grievances when communities feel that they don’t actually have a say in what’s happening and that it’s being served by vested interests rather than kind of the broader national whole and it can erode trust with the nation. On the other hand, decentralization can also breed conflict, if you have tensions within communities, it can lead to reproductions of power structures at the community level, and in fact, divide communities further. So, it’s not that there’s one solution or the other, but these are just some examples of how those things play out.
Will Brehm 9:58
So, it seems like you’re talking a little bit about how education can cause conflict. And through the education system, conflict can emerge. And this seems to happen, I would imagine in every education system. It’s political. It’s not just in post-conflict settings. But there’s another issue that you’re talking about post-conflict settings and the role of education for creating peace.
Mieke Lopes Cardozo 10:27
Yeah. So, this actually has been documented and conceptualized by Bush and Saltarelli in one of the first kind of very well-read pieces from 2000s. And they termed these kind of two sides of education, the positive and negative faces of education in conflict. So, where I just provided a few examples of the positive face of education, where it can support this social cohesion – bringing communities together – it can support a sense of dealing with the past, and also the rebuilding of a society, which would all be examples of the positive face of education. There’s also the other side, which is the negative face of education, and Ritesh just provided a few of those examples. And often what we see happening is that those two faces are there at the same time. And many education systems would have features of both. And of course, what we’re interested in with the research that we’re doing is to uncover the structural conditions of how this negative face is often reproduced, and how this can be challenged, and how this can be transformed so that the positive face of education gets more space, and that this potential is being used. It’s interesting to see that in the case of Sri Lanka, to give for the similar case also a positive example is that where the formal education system is very segregated, as Ritesh mentioned, and there is often a single story being represented. For instance, in the curricula, the teaching of history. On the positive side, we also see that from a grassroots level, there are many often youth-led, non-formal teaching settings, such as forum theatre, where different groups of youth and different students come together with various ethnic backgrounds, various linguistic backgrounds, to discuss these issues of segregation, of discrimination, of misunderstandings. So, this is, in a way, also a learning space that is sometimes directly connected to schools as an extracurricular program. And sometimes this happens outside of schools, but still provides kind of a non-formal learning space where you do see this kind of bridging and social cohesive action taking place.
Ritesh Shah 13:21
If I could just add something: The other thing I just want to say is that I think we also want to stress that there is actually a difference that we would argue between, I guess, just restoring education and considering the kind of transformative potential of education. And I think that’s, in a sense, the differentiation that we also want to make. So, when we’re talking about peacebuilding, we’re not talking about just returning education to the way it existed before. And unfortunately, that has been the dominant approach; the dominant approach is build back schools, put teachers back in classrooms, get books and furniture, but don’t think about what the education system was doing before the conflict. Or don’t consider the fact that there are structures, as Mieke talked about, that might be inadvertently recreating the tensions that fuel the conflict.
Will Brehm 14:25
So how does that happen? How do you get – I guess it would be policymakers or international development agencies? How do you get them to begin thinking of transformative education in post-conflict societies when it comes to education? Rather than just rebuilding education as it was: getting the classrooms up and the desks in place? How does it actually work?
Mieke Lopes Cardozo 14:51
I think what is important here is to look at the difference, or actually our understanding of what peace and peacebuilding means. So, I’ve just given an example of the positive and negative faces of education. But if we look at peace, and we draw on the work of Professor Johan Galtung, who is a professor in Peace and Conflict Studies, he speaks around the idea of positive and negative peace. Now, negative peace, put simply, means the absence of direct forms of violence. Positive peace, on the other side, is then the more transformative aspect. So positive peace looks into addressing the root causes of conflict. Now, if we then translate this to the role of education in a situation where conflict has happened, and is maybe in a situation of transition, then building schools back, just rebuilding school buildings and using textbooks that were already there during a conflict, or before the conflict, might kind of be more part of establishing a negative form of peace. So maybe violence has ended, yet it doesn’t really transform the underlying root causes and triggers of conflict in the first place. So then, education for peacebuilding, in the way that we’ve conceptualized it, would actually address some of the negative aspects that Ritesh referred to before. So, issues of access: who gets access, who doesn’t. How are resources distributed? Issues of recognition of cultural diversity. And finally, also, are people being heard? So are different groups in society being represented in and through the education system, and also in and through education materials? So, if we look at education through that lens of kind of a transformative peace and positive peace, that would hopefully also provide some arguments to engage policymakers and engage international agencies in that kind of new – maybe not so much new – but in that more sustainable way of looking at peace, or the sustaining peace discourse that the UN is actually starting to speak of themselves at the moment as well.
Will Brehm 17:35
Would this require that multiple actors would have to agree on the root causes of the conflict in the first place?
Ritesh Shah 17:46
Yes. Well, yes, and no. I think one of the challenges is exactly that question: What are those root causes of conflict? And how do you get a group of different stakeholders to agree to what that might look like? And what’s really interesting, and kind of going back to your last question, is that it’s not – and maybe this is where peacebuilding is tricky because there are two things about it: it’s a long-term enterprise, it’s a long horizon window, and it doesn’t offer any immediate and quick policy solutions. So, the first part is that you can’t approach this kind of enterprise from this problem-solving approach. You can’t say, “Okay, we want peace, so we’ll do x and will solve the problem.” Because actually, it’s a combination of x, y, z, and probably 20 other things that are kind of working in a particular way in that space. But when it comes to then identifying the root causes of conflict, I think one of the key learnings that I think both the research and policy work that’s been done over the last 15 to 20 years in this space has found is that generic policy solutions don’t work. So, to give you a really concrete example, between 2007 and 2011, UNICEF, through funding that was received from the government of the Netherlands, had a large ‘Education in Emergencies and Post-Conflict Transitions’ program that they were running across a number of countries. And what they discovered after running this program is that generic solutions don’t work, and instead that interventions need to be informed by high-quality conflict analyses that are sensitive to the local context and that need to have broad stakeholder engagement. So, there was a follow-up program that came about from that recommendation, again funded by the government of the Netherlands, and it was called ‘the Peacebuilding, Education and Advocacy Initiative.’ Now this was a remarkable departure from the way that peacebuilding has really been approached in education programming, I think, up to this time, and unfortunately, that program has now been closed. But I think there are some really important lessons that have been learned. So, identifying root causes of conflict was done in a participatory way. It had multiple stakeholders involved. They involved groups of youth in some context. They might have sampled in different parts of the country. They would have had consultation meetings They’ve had discussion. And in some countries, this conflict analysis process took two years. So, it wasn’t something that could be done quickly. But the end result was that the programming – the education programming – that came out of that was very attuned to what those triggers were and the dynamics behind that. And so, yes, it’s not easy to build consensus. It is possible. And there are some fantastic examples of how these conflict analyses were done, as well as what they showed. And I think those resources are now available on the ECCN website that’s hosted by USAID.
Will Brehm 21:16
This may be a stupid question, but what is a generic solution compared to a non-generic solution?
Ritesh Shah 21:23
Okay, I’ll give you one that I’ve been looking at quite a lot and being quite critical of: school-based management. Now, this is a reform that we’ve seen travel the globe. This idea that communities should be managing their schools because it can improve accountability and efficiency and so on. Now, some of the work that that Mieke and I have actually undertaken in Aceh would suggest that actually school-based management is just reproducing or exacerbating political, economic, cultural divisions at the community level. And the mechanisms of support are such that it’s geared towards not having communities considered: ‘What is the consequence of our decision on others?’ but ‘What is the consequence of our decision on ourselves?’ So, in other words, that shifting of the neoliberal discourse, which stands behind school-based management, is quite dangerous in the space of conflict-affected context where there are grievances not just between citizens and the state but often between citizens and each other. And if we’re shifting that to the level of the local, that can actually be quite dangerous. So that’s just one example.
Will Brehm 22:41
And that would be a generic solution. So, after states or school systems do these conflict analyses, these in-depth analyses that can take up to two years, what sort of non-generic solutions then like emerge out of that process?
Ritesh Shah 23:02
So, I guess one of the … so, let’s go back to the school-based management example. Now, I’m not saying that you can’t do school-based management because there is actually literature that says that you can use school-based management as well for supporting and strengthening venues for discussion, participation, deepening democratic practice, and so on. But it’s how school-based management reforms are structured. So again, going back to the example of Aceh, what we saw is that in the very early period after the end of Aceh’s conflict, there were donors who were thinking about: How do you structure school-based management to be aware to those conflict dynamics? So, what it did is that it set up mechanisms within the process, such as: who’s represented on these community councils? Who has a voice? How are decisions made? How is it ensured that these things are transparent? How is it that everyone feels that their interest and concerns are being heard? How is it that resources are being allocated equitably within these … kind of local political bodies and at the school level? These factors were explicit in the design. And this is very different to say, a generic school-based management reform which say: “Okay, we just give every school a grant, and we say: You use it. You elect it. You elect your council, and, you know, here are the parameters.” But there’s nothing around the conflict sensitivity element of it that’s embedded within those reforms. And I think that’s the kind of difference that we would be talking about.
Will Brehm 24:48
And so, what sort of success can be found when those sort of solutions are implemented? Is peace being created and built, and is it sustainable? Is there a level of success that we’ve seen in some approaches to education in post-conflict societies?
Ritesh Shah 25:10
Again, if we go to ‘the UNICEF Peacebuilding, Education and Advocacy Program,’ I think there were the beginnings of evidence of success in a number of the initiatives that were supported through that initiative. Many of those stories of different types of program models and approaches is embedded within a final program report that both Mieke and myself were involved in drafting for UNICEF. In terms of: Has peace being created? Can we say that with certainty? Within a four-year program, probably not. And I think that was one of the challenges and remains one of the challenges with this enterprise and is one of the frustrations I think that we face within this area of work is that the way that kind of funding mechanisms and structures are set up, it’s very difficult to say that you can show we now have absolute peace in four years or five years. What we’re talking about is 15, 20-year time horizons. And this is something that’s actually even been acknowledged by the former UN Secretary-General in a report that he produced with the launching of the Sustainable Development Goals, where he actually said that with the shift to the Sustainable Development Goals, and this increased focus on peace within them, we need to be looking at longer time horizons. And he himself said that we’re talking about 15-to-20-year timeframes before we can actually say that these things are leading to kind of sustainable peace of the type that we would be advocating for.
Mieke Lopes Cardozo 26:55
So, this is also just to follow up on that point. And actually, as in background to this, the work that UNICEF has been doing, as Ritesh mentioned, ‘the Peacebuilding, Education and Advocacy Program’ finished. And this was also due to the fact that the Dutch government had been supporting UNICEF first with, between 2007 and 2011, with the former program, and then the Peacebuilding Education Program was kind of a follow-up phase. So that was, in a way, a somewhat longer-term commitment. But because of political shifts in the Netherlands, the country where I come from, you see that that funding has stopped; political priorities change. And that is really quite problematic. It doesn’t mean that one country should always fund and keep on funding such initiatives. But it does mean that when there are no long-term commitments, sustainable peacebuilding will be very hard to work on, and also to measure. So, it’s quite interesting to see that, as Ritesh mentions, within the UN, there is now this acknowledgment and consideration that for sustainable peace to be built, there needs to be much more long-term commitment in terms of programmatic interventions, in terms of education reform processes because as we know from the literature as well, this is also not something that happens overnight. And likewise, building peace is also something that does take decades. And similarly, for the research in this area, this is also not something that can be done, kind of in a very quick timeframe. So, it’s quite problematic. And it’s almost the kind of million-dollar question, I guess: Are there success stories? And, of course, we can come up with kind of smaller success stories and case studies. But we always feel, and in the research what we always try to do, is to look at small scale case studies, as for instance, the school-based management example from Aceh that Ritesh just referred to but placing that within the broader structures at national level, but also in regional and geopolitical levels. Because you can’t really see those two as separate from each other.
Will Brehm 29:13
So is this, these sort of issues and tensions that you’ve brought up, part of the framework that you’ve developed to study these, you know, post-conflict settings and education – how education contributes to peacebuilding, or not. Is this part of the framework that you’ve developed?
Mieke Lopes Cardozo 29:35
Yes, in a way, I think it is. The framework that we recently published on, and that’s actually been part of a longer journey. And in collaboration between Ritesh and myself, but also with other colleagues around us, is that we came up with this kind of set of concepts and methodological approaches to do research on the role of education in process of peacebuilding. But it’s also, it’s not a blueprint, it’s not a kind of one model that would be applicable to any type of research. So, just as we established in our discussion so far that there can’t be any generic policy interventions. Likewise, there can’t be any generic research approaches either. Now, what we did feel was useful, at least for us, is to write about and discuss our kind of ontological and epistemological stances. So that is kind of … we draw on ideas from critical realism, and a version of critical realism that has been inspired by the work of Roger Dale and Susan Robertson, and a number of other scholars in that realm. And this allows us to look at reality. Also, seeing those things that can’t be empirically observed. So, looking at power structures, looking at mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion. So, looking at the unseen, in a way. And, in a way to trace back what mechanisms and what power structures are in place in a context like Aceh in Indonesia. What political histories? What histories of conflict? How are different religious perspectives being kind of dominated within the context? And how does all of that influence the way that an education system is functioning and the way that education actors can function, and can make choices? So, we can see some of those mechanisms, but some of that is unseen. And this is where we feel a qualitative research approach helps us to uncover the beliefs, the narratives, the ideas, and the power positions that are all playing a role in what happens with education in a conflict like Aceh, or sorry, in a post-war situation like Aceh. I wouldn’t necessarily call it post-conflict, referring back to our former discussion where we said, in a situation of positive peace, which could be related to post-conflict, all the root causes would be addressed. Which is not necessarily the case in Aceh. So then, if we want to uncover these root causes of conflict in a situation like Aceh, with the framework that we came up with, we draw on a number of other methodological inspirations. One of them is the recent work on cultural political economy. So that looks at the cultural turn within political economy thinking, and the work of Bob Jessop and Ngai-Ling Sum and some other colleagues at Lancaster University. And again, the interpretation of cultural political economy thinking in the field of education by Susan Robertson and Roger Dale. And we feel that this cultural, political economy lens allows us to look at the different aspects of these root causes of conflict that are underlying how conflict erupted in the first place, and then also to look at what role does education play both in a positive and in a negative way in relation to those conflicts.
Will Brehm 33:59
It makes me wonder about: would this approach using the cultural turn in political economy thinking and critical realism when we’re thinking about peacebuilding, would these sort of approaches work in non-developing countries? I mean, a lot of the examples that we’ve talked about so far are where development agencies are working. So, I just wonder, is this also something that could be considered in the United States or the United Kingdom or Australia or New Zealand, or in Europe? Are these other areas that could experience conflict and be considered post-conflict?
Ritesh Shah 34:48
I think that’s a great question and an actually really important question because, you know, we throw around the term “conflict” or “conflict-affected” or “post-conflict” as almost it’s this agreed on truth about what that term means. And I think that the kind of heart of cultural political economy approach is actually asking us to think back and say: “What are the tensions that sit behind this label? What are the kind of cultural, political, economic debates and tensions that are actually causing countries or regions to be labeled as conflict-affected or not? And what’s interesting is that, while there has been a lot of discussion and debate around the term “fragile state” in recent years, and, in fact, one of our colleagues, Stephanie Bankston, has done a fantastic job of talking and critiquing that label and saying, “How it can actually lead to dangerous forms of stereotyping?” Of, you know, a country as fragile or it’s not. But we need to keep in mind that these terms are employed for particular strategic, political, economic, cultural interest. And there are kind of imperialistic ideologies in play here. It’s sometimes a guise for interventionism. On the other hand, if we’re talking about a context like the United States, or the United Kingdom, or Western Europe, I think our societies would be actually very loath to have that label placed on it. Because we’ve so embedded in us this notion that it has a particular image to it. But yet, we know that social conflict is around us, whether it’s armed conflict, which is, I think, where the consensus does lie on whether a state is labeled as conflict-affected or not. That’s where if you do start to differentiate. Now, I mean, Will, just to kind of I think highlight a really interesting story related to this is the fact that you know, we again use the term “developing,” “developed,” or whatever. And if we come back to the notion of conflict-affected or not, well, there’s actually no agreed-on definition. And in fact, in the 2011 Global Monitoring report, which talked about the hidden crisis of armed conflict, there’s a whole discussion on the kind of contestations around that label. And you know, agencies like the World Bank, Save the Children, UNESCO, OECD, they all have different list of what countries are called conflict-affected or not. And I think that question of what country should be on that list, what countries shouldn’t be, is an important one that we should continue to ask. And I think a critical cultural political economy approach allows us to say, how is it that this notion of truth, that these countries are conflict-affected or not? How has that come? And it allows us to actually unseat those truths. And I think, in this particular time and age that we’re living in, politically we should be asking those questions globally about all sorts of matters. So yes, I think it’s an important question to ask. And I guess one other thing, and this is just a really important and clear example of this: there is now a campaign globally to kind of monitor attacks on education, which Mieke and I think is actually a really important focus and priority. And looking at attacks on schools, attacks on students, attacks on education personnel, and this has been led by the Global Coalition for the Protection of Education Under Attack. Now, they put out a map that shows all countries where there have been attacks on education, and they say attacks on education is any intentional threat or use of force carried out for political, military, ideological, sectarian, ethnic, religious, or criminal reasons against students, educators, and education institutions. Now, I find it quite curious that the United States is not on that, despite the fact that we know that there have been several school shootings in the United States over the last ten years. And according to that definition, the United States should be on that list. Now, why isn’t it? Well, who funds GCPEA? It’s mainly US-based funders. So again, this is where that cultural, political economy approach is allowing us to also unsettle some broader, I guess, hegemonic narratives or truths about what is the nature of conflict or post-conflict settings, and maybe unsettled that kind of definition of it.
Will Brehm 39:42
And I’d add that you are also unsettling the definition of education. A lot of people assume that education is always something positive. But obviously, when you’re talking about power interests, and those who are designing curriculum, it is not always so positive.
Ritesh Shah 40:02
Exactly. Yeah, and we know there is a long literature on education more broadly that talks about the political dimensions of education. And I think we’re very much drawing on that body of critical scholarship and critical theory when we’re looking at education in that light.
Mieke Lopes Cardozo 40:20
Yes, and I feel this is also where, if I come back to the framework that we’ve been working with, and we’ve been developing together, and also in collaboration with other colleagues, also, more recently for the Research Consortium on Education and Peacebuilding, which was a partnership between UNICEF and UNICEF’s ‘Peacebuilding, Education and Advocacy program,’ the University of Amsterdam, University of Sussex, and University of Ulster. And together with Professor Alan Smith and Professor Mario Novelli and a number of colleagues, including Ritesh and myself, we developed what we’ve called a “4Rs framework”. And this is basically bringing in a social justice perspective into looking at the role of education for peacebuilding. Now, Ritesh and I already in the conversation so far, we’ve mentioned a few times and these three kind of different aspects of the way that resources are being redistributed, which would be, in the terms of Nancy Fraser, who is one of the leading theorists from kind of a critical gender perspective on social justice, this would be the first R of redistribution. Looking at social justice through that kind of economic lens of how resources are being distributed, and how that works within the education system. We’ve also provided some examples of the second R, which is around issues of cultural recognition. And so, this is being played out in the way that language of instruction is being organized in education systems, but also the ways in which certain stories or certain cultural traditions are being represented in textbooks or in the way that teachers are addressing some of the exams in the classrooms or absences within that realm of cultural diversity. The third R is then around representation. And so, these three first Rs, redistribution, recognition, and representation, all draw on the work of Nancy Fraser. Representation deals with issues of political voice, of both students and teachers having a say in what happens within education reform processes, but also at the local school level. And this again relates to Ritesh’s example about the school-based management reforms. And then, for the education and peacebuilding research consortium that I just refer to, we added a fourth R to complete this 4Rs model or analytical framework. And the fourth R is specific to situations where there’s been violent conflict and kind of a long, longer-term conflict. And this is the issue of reconciliation. So, reconciliation has, of course, different meanings in different context. We studied issues of reconciliation in South Africa, in Uganda, in Pakistan, and in Myanmar, for the research consortium. And obviously, in a situation like South Africa, where there’s been an extensive process of truth and reconciliation through the committee that was established there, reconciliation has a whole different meaning and has also been already adopted within teaching strategies and the teaching of history in a very different way than we would see at the moment in a context like Myanmar, where reconciliation for at least parts of communities within the country isn’t really an issue to talk about yet because conflict is still ongoing in parts of that context. So those 4Rs: redistribution, recognition, representation, and reconciliation, for us, are a way to use a social justice lens to look at root causes of conflict. And at the same time, we can also approach those from a more positive angle and looking at solutions or ways that education could start to address those root causes and root injustices that are underlying conflict in the first place.
Will Brehm 44:59
Well, Mieke and Ritesh, thank you so much for joining FreshEd. It really was wonderful to talk today.
Ritesh Shah 45:04
Mieke Lopes Cardozo 45:05
Thank you as well for organizing this.