From 23-26 October 2017, over 80 organisations and state representatives from 24 francophone countries will convene at the Institut de la Francophonie pour l’éducation et la formation in Dakar to discuss the commercialisation and privatisation of education, in what will be one of the biggest civil society conferences on the issue. In view of the rapid growth of private actors in education, participants will attempt to provide appropriate responses to protect and secure the right to free and quality education in all countries.
The conference follows the Francophone call against commercialisation of education (November 2016) which gathered signatures from more than 300 organisations. The involvement of private actors in the education sector and its commercialisation for profit-making purposes, has also, in recent times, been questioned by a network of civil society organisations, several UN declarations, and the work of the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to education. The impact of this trend on the quality of educational content as well as exacerbating discrimination and social inequalities makes it a major challenge for advocates of the right to education.
At the meeting, participants will discuss both theoretical and practical aspects of the issue. The aims of the conference are to find collective, meaningful, and innovative answers, in the face of the commercialisation of education. The meeting will also be an opportunity for Francophone actors to comment on the Human Rights Guiding Principles on the obligations of states regarding private actors in education, which are currently being drafted.
The meeting follows the commitment made by French president, Emmanuel Macron and President Macky Sall of Senegal to hold a global meeting on education in February 2019, in Dakar. It is also taking place in the context of a renewed participation of Francophone institutions and civil society organisations in international debates on education.
Through the Declaration of Antananarivo (November 2016), the International Organisation of La Francophonie recognised the problems inherent in the commercialisation of education, with the 57 member states further committing to strengthen public education and regulate private actors in education. An informal network of Francophone organisations has since been established to follow up on the Declaration and work in this direction with the States.
It is hoped that this meeting will establish common goals and practices for participants for the coming years.
News organisations are warmly invited to the Institut de la Francophonie pour l’Éducation et la Formation for the opening ceremony of the Francophone meeting on privatisation in education.
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For more information, do not hesitate to contact:
Delphine Dorsi, Right to Education Initiative | email@example.com
Cheikh Mbow, Coalition des ONG en Synergie pour la Défense de l’Education Publique (COSYDEP) | firstname.lastname@example.org, 00221 77 332 95 36
Samuel Dembele, Réseau Africain pour l’Education pour Tous (ANCEFA) | email@example.com, 00226 70 299010