Foreign-backed funding for education does not always stabilize a country and enhance its statebuilding efforts. I show how US funding of jihad literacy for the Mujahideen in Afghanistan in 1980s bolstered conflict through violence-infused, anti-Soviet curricula. I also reveal how dominant humanitarian models that determine what counts as appropriate aid have limited attention and resources toward education, in some cases fueling programs that undermine their goals. For education to promote peace in Afghanistan, we must expand equal access to quality community-based education and support programs that increase girls' and boys' attendance at school.
Dana Burde is an Associate Professor and the Director International Education at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Her works focuses on the effects of conflict on education, the efforts of humanitarian organizations to mitigate these effects, and the relationship between education and political violence or peace. Her book Schools for Conflict or for Peace in Afghanistan was published in 2014 and other work has been published in Comparative Education Review, Current Issues in Comparative Education, and the New York Times. She holds a PhD in Comparative Education and Political Science from Columbia University and a EdM in International Education from Harvard University.