War settles nothing, and the proof of the devastation that a war causes is etched in every page of history books. Time and again, we have restricted the spoils of war to the materialistic ruins it amounts to. However, have you ever wondered what the impact of war is beyond the socio-political scenario? How about the doom it spells on the world of academia? To that end, read this blog to understand how war has affected the education system and why is it an enemy of education.
War has Disrupted Education System: Revisiting History
The First World War that lasted for four years (1914-1918) took a toll on the education system. During the war, the armies took abode in school premises and hospitals, disrupting the overall education system. The consequences were severe, and nations took a lot of time to get over the catastrophe and get back to normal life.
In addition, the combatant nations urged their citizens to join hands and fight side by side with their armies. How did it affect education? The countries with a higher male population bore the burnt more. In Germany, 80% of teachers were male, and two-thirds of them chose to be on the battlefield by 1916. Hiring female teachers did not solve the problem. In addition, the shortage of food weakened the teachers as most of them were working double shifts.
On the other hand, education in Italy, France, Great Britain, Australia and Canada ran smoothly. Female teachers comprised 60-80% of the teaching professionals, which helped in the continuity of education. But was it enough to avoid the adverse effects of war? Unfortunately, no. France and Germany saw a rise in absences from 25 to 50% in the last war winters.
Food and the need to earn daily bread and butter stopped people from attending regular classes. Education cannot run smoothly when the countries are at war. The consequences are not restricted to education. People need to find a way to live and fill their hunger, which harms education.
Let’s move on and look into how another war changed history – the Second World War. The United States, one of the developed nations today, was struggling to keep its education system up and running during the Second World War. The funds allotted for schooling were reallocated and used for supporting the Allied war effort.
It is hard to digest, but during the war years, dropouts became common, and most teachers and youth left the classroom to join the military. As a result, high school enrolments in the US went down from 6.7 million in 1941 to 5.5 million in 1944. Only two-thirds of the pre-war teaching staff were left in 1944.
I feel that history books focus more on the economic disturbances and loss of money as a consequence of war but have seldom focussed on education. But if you look at the stats mentioned here, you will understand how war has affected and brought education to a standstill. Educating the youth is more important than sending them to fight. War has never solved problems; instead, it complicated things. So let me take you through one of the most recent examples of war and its impact on education.
Russia vs. Ukraine: Impact on the Education System of Ukraine
Russia invaded Ukraine recently and proved how things could go completely wrong during the war. The war forced all universities in Ukraine to shut down and urged common citizens to join the military. Faculty members from the Kyiv School of Economics joined the military force and got caught in the crossfire.
The loss of life has a direct impact on education. If teachers and students are forced to fight, the education system will come to a standstill. Unfortunately, Ukraine had no option and was forced to defend itself against the mighty Russians. Had there been no war, none of this would have happened, and Ukraine would have continued to impart the best education.
You have now understood how war can affect education and why it can be called an enemy of education. Here are some more facts:
- Approximately 50 million children and young people staying in conflict areas are out of school
- The civil war in Syria is a major contributor to the sharp rise in the number of children being stopped from accessing education
- As per a UNESCO report, almost 57 million children are out of primary school globally
- Almost 3900 schools were destroyed, damaged or occupied on purpose during the wars in Syria
- M23 rebels in the Democratic Republic of the Congo were responsible for putting 250 schools out of use
It is impossible to deny the significance of education, and anything that disturbs the smooth running of the education system must be addressed immediately. War will never answer complicated questions, and it will only disrupt the entire system and force people to look for options to earn their daily bread and butter. Nations that have been through war saw people robbing and stealing money to fill their hunger. Instead of fighting, looking for peaceful solutions will be better.
To end with,
It is not possible to see things through when you act violently. Logical reasoning and the understanding of good and bad is something you don’t have when you get angry. The infamous bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki did not solve any problem. Instead, it destroyed two cities, and the consequences are felt till date. Educating the youth is more important than sending them to war. So, stop war and embrace a peaceful way of solving things and see the difference.
The blog will help you gain an insight into the facts and figures that prove war is an enemy of education. It will help you understand how war can affect the overall education system and disrupt the smooth flow.
Steve Lesnar is an academician providing paper checker to students. He is associated with the well-known Essay Writers website Allessaywriters.com. Apart from this, he likes travelling and visiting nearby places whenever he gets time.