Armed conflict and schooling: evidence from the 1994 Rwandan genocide
Richard Akresh, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Damien de Walque, World Bank Group
Civil war, and genocide in particular, are among the most destructive of social phenomena, especially for children of school-going age. In Rwanda school enrollment trends suggest that the school system recovered quickly after 1994, but these numbers do not tell the full story. Two cross-sectional household surveys collected before and after the genocide are used to compare children in the same age group who were and were not exposed to the genocide - and their educational outcomes are substantially different. Children exposed to the genocide experienced a drop in educational achievement of almost one-half year of completed schooling, and are 15 percentage points less likely to complete third or fourth grade. Sustained effort is needed to reinforce educational institutions and offer a "second chance" to those youth most affected by the conflict.