11 Agosto 2023

On 26 July 2023, the latest edition of the UNESCO Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report, entitled ‘Technology in education: a tool on whose terms?’ was launched in Montevideo, Uruguay. 

Each edition of the prestigious GEM Report features a series of background papers commissioned by the organisation, which cover different aspects of the topic in question. RTE produced a background paper entitled ‘Technology and education in light of human rights’, which was cited throughout the wider report. 

Our paper parts from the basis established by the UN Special Rapporteur in her 2022 report on the impact of digitalisation on the right to education, that any introduction of digital technologies in education must be framed around the right of every person to public, free, quality education and the commitments of states in this regard both under international human rights law and Sustainable Development Goal 4. 

Image of girl in pink top looking at screen on desk. Text reads ONLY 16% of countries guarantee DATA PRIVACY in education by law.

The paper reaffirms the importance of state obligations under the human rights framework as representing the starting point for assessing and responding to discussions related to the monitoring of children’s activities and the collection and use of their data in the field of education. The paper is split into three sections. Part one is an introduction to the topic. Part two of the paper outlines the international and regional human rights legal framework that governs the relationship between technology and education, providing a baseline upon which states can verify compliance with international human rights law and useful guidance for anyone seeking to understand the impacts of existing and emerging educational products and services. 

The subsequent section (three) provides a comparative analysis of the regulation of technology and education in ten countries, through an examination of current data protection, education and related legislation, for the purpose of understanding how different countries are paying attention to and addressing key human rights issues with regards to technology in education in practice.

Attendees at the launch in Montevideo included state representatives, policy makers and education experts from around the globe, who met to discuss the report’s findings, and the context of technology in education in the 21st century. The launch was co-hosted by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Uruguay and Ceibal Foundation

Our thanks to Juliana Lima and Susie Talbot, the consultants who worked with us to draft this paper. 

Find out more about the GEM report paper here.

Read our paper in full here.