Abolishing School Fees in Africa is the product of a SFAI workshop, “School Fee Abolition: Building on What We Know and Defining Sustained Support,” held in Kenya in 2006. The book begins with a comparative overview of the processes, challenges, and lessons learned by five countries that had already abolished school fees: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, and Mozambique. The subsequent chapters delineate the actual experiences of each of the countries in planning and implementing their policies.

This report explores a range of innovative education budget work initiatives from Bangladesh, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi and Uganda, where civil society has monitored and challenged their governments over education expenditure in order to hold themaccountable for commitments to EFA and the MDGs. It examines the significance and impact of civil society budget initiatives by drawing on interviews and focus group discussions with a range of education stakeholders, including education coalitions, government officials, nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), teaching staff and school pupils; and by reviewing research reports and budget manuals developed by civil society organisations (CSOs).

This report is the culmination of five years’ implementation of ActionAid’s multi-country project aimed at empowering girls and enabling them to enjoy their rights to education and participation in a violence-free environment. The uniqueness of this project resides in the connection between research, community intervention and advocacy reinforced by a strong partnership approach.

On ActionAid website are also available the executive summary (French and English) and the success stories (English and Portuguese).

The Right to Education Project, with the support of international and British organisations as well as teachers' unions have submitted a report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child about the UK's support of the growth of private actors in education through its development aid: questioning its responsibilities as regards its human rights extra-territorial obligations.

The report raises concern about the increased use of British aid money to support for-profit schools, in particular so-called ‘low-fee’ private schools, which are fuelling inequality, creating segregation and undermining the right to education.

The report finds that the UK’s policies in support of private education through its development aid are problematic and that the country could be violating its extra-territorial obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in two regards:

  • Firstly, the UK’s support for for-profit, fee-charging private schools that do not reach the poorest is questioned in light of the UK’s obligations to fulfil the right to education, including the right to free quality education without discrimination;   
  • Secondly, the UK’s responsibility is questioned in particular in relation to its own impact assessments that have been conducted on its policies of providing support to private schools and which have concluded that projects supporting private education providers are less likely to target the most marginalised, and that more research needs to be carried out on the impact of private schools in developing countries on, among other elements, the efficiency of “low-fee” private schools.

This paper highlights key concluding observations adopted between 2014 and 2016 by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), and the UN Committee on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) regarding the role of private actors in education in Brazil, Chile, Ghana, Haiti, Kenya, Morocco, Uganda and Zimbabwe. These add to more than 50 other concluding observations previously issued by these committees on the topic.

Bridge International Academies (BIA) is a large and expanding business that provides for-profit  private  education  in  Kenya,  Uganda,  Nigeria  and  India.  With  support  and  investment coming from global edubusiness Pearson, the World Bank, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and high profile actors such as Mark Zuckerberg and the Gates Foundation, the claims that BIA makes regarding its services are impressive, portraying the company as providing a magic bullet solution to educational inequalities and a high quality alternative to insufficient and inadequate government provision (Bridge International  Academies,  2016b)1.  Focusing  on  BIA’s  operations  in  Kenya,  this  study  seeks to monitor these claims by uncovering the extent to which they reflect the situation on-the-ground.

Below are the report findings and a five point analysis of what the data collected means from a human rights perspective, with the full report at the bottom of the page.

PDF iconGI_KNUT_Bridge_V_Reality_Report_Findings_Dec_2016_EN.pdf

PDF iconISER_GIESCR_EachRights_What_do_the_new data_on_Bridge_International_Academies_tells_us_2016_En.pdf

RESULTS Educational Fund’s report “From Free to Fee”, investigates World Bank’s basic education investments through its private lending arm (the IFC). The report seeks to explore if IFC investments in education reach the poorest groups and help reduce extreme poverty. From Free to Fee provides evidence from IFC funded schools in Kenya, Uganda, and South Africa, and presents recommendations for the World Bank, the IFC, and other investors on how to more effectively end poverty through basic education.  

This report addresses the existence and operation of low cost private schools in Kenya. The research was conducted in Homa Bay County, Ndhiwa Sub- County where 11 schools were sampled for the research and over 131 interviews conducted. The interviewees comprised of policy makers, School manager’s/Head teachers, teachers, Parents and Pupils. The research sought to determine the existence, operation and legal status of low- cost private schools in a rural setting. It set to look into the various aspects of their operation including how they are managed, the kind of curriculum they use, the number and qualification of teachers employed, the fees charged and how affordable it is to the target community, school infrastructure, the schools’ relationship with the government, and how regularly they are monitored and regulated. Seven facts were deducted from the research as follows:

  • Fact 1, Affordability: More than two thirds of parents with children in Low-cost private schools can barely afford to pay fees and often have to forego some basic needs in the quest of ensuring their children receive Quality Education.
  • Fact 2, Teachers qualification and Teacher to Pupil ratio: 90% of teachers in public schools are TSC certified whereas 90% of teachers in Low-Cost Private Schools are not TSC certified.
  • Fact 3, Accessibility: Pupils have to walk long distances to access public schools.
  • Fact 4: School Infrastructure is poor in both public and low-cost private schools.
  • Fact 5: School management: 90% of schools visited do not have Parents-Teachers Associations and are in the process of establishing Boards of Management.
  • Fact 6: Most of the Schools visited were not Registered
  • Fact 7: Monitoring and Regulation of Low-Fee Private Schools in Homa Bay County is poor.
  • Fact 8: The Community Perceives the quality of education in Low-Fee Private Schools as higher than that in public schools.

Based upon Plan International's dataset of 1.4 million sponsored children, the report compares sponsored children with a disability to those without, from 30 countries worldwide. The report, produced in collaboration with London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, reveals that children with disabilities in developing countries are being held back from an education. The findings will help Plan International - and other researchers and organisations - to improve responses to the needs of children with disabilities, particularly their health and education.

This is a summary of the report submitted in October 2015 to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights by 26 organisations across the world including British organisations, organisations based in developing countries, and international organisations. 

Access the original report, here and the update, here

 

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