This is the second publication in a series devoted to elucidating key dimensions of the right to education. It addresses the cardinal requirement of the right to education – ensuring free and compulsory education for all.

This report summarizes in 281 pages the shortcomings of global educational promises and then examines how the right to education fares in 170 countries. Developing and transitioning countries are divided into six geographical regions and 31 tables highlight the key findings derived from country-by-country surveys. The Report highlights the abyss between the domestic policies of wealthy creditor and donor governments which keep compulsory education free, and their external policies which have made it for-fee. All sources are indicated in 1,317 footnotes.

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.

Education is held up as the key strategy to empower girls and break the cycles of poverty, to propel social and economic development in poor countries, and to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. Many girls from poor families have little or no access to even a primary education, because the costs are beyond their families' means. In this information sheet Amnesty International calls o governments to eliminate direct and indirect fees for primary schools and take steps to make secondary schools accessible to all.

General Comment 11, adopted by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, provides interpretation and clarification of Article 14 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

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This report shows that the Philippines is neglecting its obligation to guarantee free public education for all. Since 2009 the government’s allocation of funds to private school chains has increased to more than PHP 31 Billion, nearly $700 million USD, which Riep points out could have paid for 60 thousand more classrooms and accommodated roughly 3 million students.

The report reveals how for-profit schools are using the education system, with the aid of public money, to produce a generation of young people programmed to work as “semi-skilled... cheap labour” for a plethora of corporations in the Philippines. At the same time, low-fee, for-profit schools are employing untrained teachers for low wages at the cost of quality education.

The main findings of the report are:

  • Complicity and failure on the part of Filipino government to fulfil its obligations to provide quality free education for its citizens - this on the heels of the adoption of the SDGs and the FFA.
  • It also reveals failure on the development, implementation and enforcement of legislative requirements that go to for-profit schooling - noting that APEC receives directly and indirectly government/tax payer funding.
  • The report further highlights failure on enforcing a social contract / minimum standards regarding qualified teachers, curriculum and facilities. In fact, the government waived legislative requirements vis a vis school facilities.  
  • What is new here is the state sponsored / subsidised human resource factories directly advancing Ayala’s business interests. This is achieved by reverse engineering the curriculum to produce an army of labour for their businesses e.g. call centres. All in all, the research provides evidence why the profit motive has no place in dictating what is taught, how it’s taught nor how schools are organised. 

Part of a law which allowed the Colombian government to charge for primary education was deemed unconstitutional after a pair of Colombian lawyers, collaborating with the law faculty at New York’s Cornell University and a coalition of civil society organisations, brought a direct challenge against its discriminatory provisions.

This concept paper clarifies international States obligations related to the right to primary education free of charge for all as guaranteed by UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

In this policy brief, the Global Campaign for Education, outlines ten clear recommendations for the Education Financing Commission, which will launch its report on 18th Spetember, 2016. The recommendations are:

 

 

  1. Ensure harmony with existing education efforts (the right to education and Education 2030) as wells as existing mechanisms, such as the Global Partnership for Education
  2. Support free education
  3. Support public education
  4. Ensure long term, predictable, and sustainable financing
  5. Ensure inclusive and democratic country-led processes
  6. Emphasise the diverse aims of education and look beyond standardised testing to a wide range of indicators
  7. Ensure governments allocate at least 20% of their budgets to education
  8. Ensure governments increase budget size
  9. Budgets should prioritise equity
  10. Budgets should be transparent and subject to scrutiny

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