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Silencing the past in Ugandan schools. The role of education in reconciliation processes

Datzberger, S; Donovan, O; (2020) Silencing the past in Ugandan schools. The role of education in reconciliation processes. Peacebuilding , 8 (1) pp. 118-134. 10.1080/21647259.2018.1517963. Green open access

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Abstract

This article assesses how reconciliation in post-conflict Uganda is currently approached in the country’s education sector. It highlights that education is in the main equated with economic development thereby side-lining the legacies of past conflicts and social injustices. In the view of Uganda’s highly politicised reconciliation process, this may not come as a surprise. Interviewees pointed to a general fear, that addressing past conflicts in official curricula could revive tensions. However, fieldwork further revealed that a sheer absence of reconciliation through the education sector could be dangerous in two ways. First, silencing past conflicts in schools may have a depoliticising effect on a population as a whole. It deprives a society of constructing a social, cultural and national identity that is based on multiple understandings of a conflict. Second, the absence of a social truth based on different narratives of the conflict can in the long-term trigger new forms of structural violence if not conflict or violent unrest.

Type: Article
Title: Silencing the past in Ugandan schools. The role of education in reconciliation processes
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/21647259.2018.1517963
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1080/21647259.2018.1517963
Language: English
Additional information: Reconciliation, education, silencing, social truth, Uganda
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Education, Practice and Society
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10065667
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