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Promoting peace through education in conflict-affected regions of Thailand and Myanmar
This is a small scale partnership development project funded by UCL Global Engagement, involving a two-day workshop in Chiang Mai University, Thailand to discuss how education can promote peace and reconciliation in politically contested regions of Thailand and Myanmar. Southern Thailand’s Malay Muslims have long resisted assimilationist education policies to preserve their Islamic culture, identity and language whereas, ethnic armed organizations in Karen, Mon and Shan states of Myanmar have struggled for local autonomy in education. We will bring together academics and civil society actors working on education in these contexts to discuss educational challenges faced by local communities, which will also create an opportunity for knowledge exchange. This activity is underpinned by theoretical knowledge in the field of education and conflict - that education is often disrupted and teachers, pupils and educational infrastructure are targeted for violent attacks in conflict settings (UNESCO, 2011; GCPEA, 2018), but education is also a conflict-fueling and peace building force (Bush and Saltarelli, 2000; Pherali, 2016; 2019). Denial of education to ethnic and religious minorities, cultural repression through language and curriculum and promotion of biased history can fuel conflict, whereas, equity, inclusion and recognition of diversity in education can help build peace. In ethnic regions of Myanmar and Thailand, education has historically played a contentious role in hardening political divisions between dominant social groups and ethnic minorities. In the workshop, we will particularly focus on how education can mitigate conflict-fueling dynamics and promote peace and social justice. This event will strengthen partnerships between all institutions involved and help develop a broader research agenda collaboratively.
1 Researchers
2 External Collaborators
  • Ms Hawng Tsai
    Thinking Classroom Foundation - Myanmar
  • Professor Chayan VADDHANAPHUTI
    Chiang Mai University - United Kingdom
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