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This study finds that by prioritizing universal development programmes instead of employing a conflict-sensitive approach rooted in attending to the specific inequities present in Sierra Leone, the current education system is ignoring the needs and desires of certain subpopulations of youth. Specifically, although the state has been very successful in increasing overall access to basic education for both boys and girls in rural Sierra Leone, the current focus on improving the quality of academic education has sidelined the growth of technical and vocational education that many youth desire. Instead, sectors such as tertiary education are prioritized above all else.

Furthermore, the presence of the Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) soldiers from Nigeria and Guinea during the war introduced behaviours such as drugs, alcohol, and gambling. These foreign cultural influences are affecting rural youth and turning into social problems that have yet to be recognized by the government or nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). The establishment of technical and non- formal education to employment pipelines can serve to engage these youth, thereby creating more equity and positive peace.


This chapter originally appeared in the book Security, Education and Development in Contemporary Africa, edited by M. Raymond Izarali, Oliver Masakure, Edward Shizha.



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