Education provision to nomadic pastoralists: a literature review

Education provision to nomadic pastoralists: a literature review

Formal education programmes oppose nomadic pastoralist culture

This literature review explores issues relating to education provision to nomadic pastoralists. Pastoralists are often considered to be educational 'failures' (in terms of enrolment, attendance, classroom performance etc). Despite this, pastoralists manifest high levels of specialisation and sophistication within the diverse activities they engage in as pastoralists. The article suggests that the paradox of the difference between pastoralists performance in school and outside is central to any analysis of the continuous failure, with regard to nomads, of the universal project of education.

The paper concludes that:

  • education programmes appear to oppose nomadic culture at all levels: in their principles and goals, in their explanatory paradigms; in their solutions and implementation; in their approach to evaluation
  • there needs to be a broader view of education within the context of pastoralism. Policies should expand the view from statistics and the classroom to education as a broad phenomenon
  • education for nomads should be flexible, multifaced and focussed enough to target specific structural problems such as social and economic marginalisation, lack of political representation or coping and interacting successfully with the new challenges raised by globalisation

The report is available as

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