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The Impact on Education After Rwanda’s Violent Conflict

The research involved 23 life story interviews with Rwandans and former refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda who had been forced out of school. From these, I established that some learners had since managed to achieve their second chance at education. I also realised that many of them had lost education a lot earlier than 1994 due to discrimination based on ethnicity, region and religion. Findings point to a number of insights that can help inform how to design interventions for education in emergencies. First, the role of governments can be critical. In the case of Rwanda, the government committed to reforming the education sector and, for example, abolished discriminatory policies and school fees. The government also provided opportunities for education by initiating a “Catch-up Programme” and a Private Candidate programme. The Catch-up Programme was an accelerated learning programme which provided condensed primary education to a large number of children and adolescents who had missed their education in the 1990s. It ended in 2015.