Incremental Transformations: Education for Resiliency in Post-War Sri Lanka
- What are the girls’ understanding and hopes for peace and social cohesion?
- What are the girls’ understanding of gender equality and their experiences of it in their day-to-day lives? How does their understanding impact their hopes for the future?
- How do these minority girls, living in three war-affected regions from the Northern and Eastern Province, perceive the role of education in their lives?
2. Literature Review
2.1. The Education, Conflict, and Gender Interface
2.2. Transformative Education
2.3. Transforming Conflict
2.4. Transforming Gender Inequality
2.5. Post-War Sri Lanka
2.6. Education and Gender (In)Equality in Sri Lanka
2.7. Conceptual Framework: Gender-Transformative Education for Peacebuilding
2.7.1. Representation and Redistribution
3.1. Researcher Positionality and Ethics
3.2. Data Collection and Analysis
4.1. Classroom and School Observations
4.2.1. Hope for Peace
“Between Singhalese and Tamils, it is the Singhalese that there are more of, so people say the Singhalese have more rights, my parents say this but I don’t know. So, they give the Singhalese more rights. Like the votes, the differences, the right to vote, because of that people say they are getting more rights, like choosing the country leader. They should give equal rights to Tamils in everything.”(122–123)
“A lot of people were killed during the war period, and in the most gruesome manner. I feel that another war like that will not occur (52–53) because of the war, Tamil people have lost a lot of their rights. So, when I think of that I feel sad.”(143–144)
“First, we shouldn’t have this ethnic tension. There shouldn’t be this distinction between Tamils, Sinhalese, and Muslims. We should all be Sri Lankans. We should all be seen as people of this country. If people were to understand this, these problems won’t exist, and this country would go to a better place.”(154–156)
“They should write about it. Like the problem with Mullivaikal has been going on for a long time. People from Human rights organizations come and come and still there is no decision on it. They come and look, and they go. They come and talk and interview but there is still no decision for the Tamil people. Many people were killed in Mullivaikal. The people in the future will not know what happened. Tamils, like generally what happened over here, no one will know. If it is written, it will be known. Like we know what happened before us, because it was written.”(97–100)
“Some things they should know, and somethings are better left unknown. Like it is important to know the war happened but not what happened to people, because they might think it might happen again. Even if people talk about another war, like I hear the sound of a helicopter I get so scared. That is how it was, it would spin from above and the strikes, the shells would come and fall and the only thing you see is smoke in the sky and fire in the ground. That fear comes immediately when I hear the sound of a helicopter now. That kind of information will not be good for the future, but it would be important to know the war happened and which places it happened in.”(76–84)
“All the people of this country should be peaceful and happy. There should be no problems. There should be no wars like this again. If we see all people the same way, these kinds of problems would not come to mind.”(208–210)
4.2.2. Gender Equality
“Right now there is a difference. But it is changing slowly to become equal. Initially it was boys who were into everything but now little by little girls are coming up. Like politics, education. So slowly, it has become equally. Before, boys were the best, it was that only boys could go to work, but now girls can work too. Anyone can work.”(34–37)
“I can give lots of examples. Like the Vidhya murder. The government, or people with money, prevented the culprits from being prosecuted. Even though the government knew who it did, they used the money to influence people and not give the proper punishment.”(67–69)
“In this country, first there needs to be restrictions placed on the use of alcohol. Next, the destruction of culture, like the rape that took place in Jaffna, in Vavuniya, all over the place there are many rapes happening. It is even happening to small children. If all of this was stopped, then the country will be a good country. Like everything, like girls should be able to walk around freely without fear on their own, it should change to a country like that.”(146–150)
“In times before, Muslims would not let their daughters get an education. They would marry them off when they are young but that has changed. But now everyone studies, they study well. And now if you look at who is getting jobs, it is the Muslim girls.”(49–51)
“In our village there is no such thing as gender equality. Especially because this is rural village. Women are always in a lower position and men are in a higher position. For example, in our house, my mother will serve my father and little brother food first and then ask me to eat. My mother would say “Because they work, they get first priority, you eat last, whether you eat or not, doesn’t matter”. So, I will say to her, I was born from you and he was born from you, why is it that I have to serve him but I have to eat last. She will say, “It is not like that, even if you think that, it should be in the home, what you say is right, but keep it in the house.” You can’t ask outside why boys are getting more food than and that everyone is equal. Because we are not that grown, and no one will listen to what we say. So, because of that I fight with my mom about it at home but never mention it outside. So, in a rural village it will always be unequal between men and women.”(87–96)
“…under the rules and regulations of the LTTE, there were never issues like this. No matter what time it is during the night, you can send you children anywhere with the confidence that they will be okay. There was safety. But now you cannot send you children out anywhere. But now after 6 pm, there needs to be an escort.”(277–281)
4.2.3. The Role of Education
“I want to get into politics. I want to help my people. I want to get justice for my father who was killed by the EPDP (a pro government group in the North) but I know I can’t do this as a woman. I would make my little brother a politician and I will provide support and advice for him, I would become a lawyer. I will put my brother in front because when I go to another family (marriage) it will become a problem.”(15–23)
“Sometimes I yell at my mom and say she could help because I am studying, like a final exam is coming and I must study, but I always feel bad and go and do the work anyway. But what can you do, if you have it in your heart that you want to study, that is enough. Another thing is, I have a confidence because one month after my dad’s death I passed my exams.”(220–223)
“I remember the conflict very well. It was the time I was in grade five studying for the grade six scholarship that we had to leave. As a result, my studies got thrown off but the thanks to the tenacity of my mother, no matter where we got displaced my mother always found a school to send me. Just in the last days of the war, two or three months, the shelling was so bad, children could not go to school, we could not come out. But my mother never let us go without school or drop out.”(45–49)
5.1. Representation and Redistribution
5.2. Recognition and Reconciliation
Conflicts of Interest
|4||Conflict-positive (Davies, 2006)|
|6||Education as protection|
|7||Education for mothering|
|8||Education for Social Justice|
|9||Education for work|
|12||Gender equality—transformation economic|
|24||Multiculturalism and tolerance|
|30||Peace (possible/hope for/strategy)|
|31||Peace for development|
|37||Work-job security/government job|
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Kovinthan Levi, T. Incremental Transformations: Education for Resiliency in Post-War Sri Lanka. Educ. Sci. 2019, 9, 11. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9010011
Kovinthan Levi T. Incremental Transformations: Education for Resiliency in Post-War Sri Lanka. Education Sciences. 2019; 9(1):11. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9010011Chicago/Turabian Style
Kovinthan Levi, Thursica. 2019. "Incremental Transformations: Education for Resiliency in Post-War Sri Lanka" Education Sciences 9, no. 1: 11. https://doi.org/10.3390/educsci9010011