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.
On 13-14 March UNESCO hosted the Europe and North America Regional Consultation on the Human Rights Guiding Principles on state obligations regarding private schools. This was the third in a series of regional consultations, part of a broad consultative process to develop the Guiding Principles involving a range of stakeholders including civil society organisations, state representatives, human rights organisations and experts in the fields of education and law, academics, international and regional organisations and other actors. To obtain a comprehensive and comparative review of the draft text and taking into account the cumulative effect of the consultation process, the group reviewed a version of the Guiding Principles updated following previous regional consultations in Bangkok (August 2016) and Nairobi (September 2016).
This report summarises the Eastern Africa Regional Consultation on Human Rights Guiding Principles on State Obligations regarding Private Schools held in Nairobi on September 5-7, 2016. The purpose of the regional consultation was to share the process for the development of, and for participants to input into, a set of Human Rights Guiding Principles on State obligations regarding private schools (‘Guiding Principles’). The Guiding Principles are a set of global guidelines that clarify human rights law related to private actors in education and are intended to be operational in and adaptable to different contexts.
A report summary for the Asia Pacific regional consultation, held in Bangkok (August 2016) is available, here.
A report summary for the Europe and North America regional consultation, held in Paris (March 2017) is available, here,
This report summarises the Asia Pacific regional consultation on Human Rights Guiding Principles on State Obligations regarding Private Schools (hereafter ‘regional consultation') hosted by the Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE) in Bangkok on 30-31 August, 2016. The purpose of the regional consultation was to share the process for the development of, and for participants to input into, a set of Human Rights Guiding Principles on State obligations regarding private schools (‘Guiding Principles’). The Guiding Principles are a set of global guidelines that clarify human rights law related to private actors in education and are intended to be operational in and adaptable to different contexts.
A report summary for the eastern Africa regional consultation, held in Nairobi (September 2016) is available, here.
A report summary for the Europe and North America regional consultation, held in Paris (March 2017) is available, here.
Human Rights Council Resolution A/HRC/32/L.33 adopted during the 32nd Session on the right to education. This resolution urges States to give full effect to the right to education, including by taking measures including the regulation of non-State actor providers of education:
2 (e) Putting in place a regulatory framework for education providers, including those operating independently or in partnership with States, guided by international human rights obligations, that establishes, inter alia, minimum norms and standards for the creation and operation of educational services, addresses any negative impacts of the commercialisation of education, and strengthens access to appropriate remedies and reparation for victims of violations of the right to education;
Businesses play an important role in the realisation of economic, social and cultural rights, inter alia, by contributing to the creation of employment opportunities and, through private investment, to development. However, the Committee has been regularly presented with situations in which, as a result of states' failure to ensure compliance with internationally recognised human rights under their jurisdiction, corporate activities negatively affected economic, social and cultural rights. This General Comment seeks to clarify the duties of States parties to the Covenant in such situations, with a view to preventing and addressing the adverse impacts of business activities on human rights.
Commercialisation is creeping into our public school system. A new report, Commercialisation in Public Schooling, reveals teachers are concerned about the influence commercialisation is having in schools; on everything from the provision of tests like NAPLAN, through to private providers offering classes in PE, Music, Drama and even professional development courses for teachers.
The report reveals schools are now forced to buy-in a substantial volume of educational products and services that were once provided by education departments.
- Lesson plans
- Reading programmes
- Curriculum content
- Assessment services
- Remedial instruction
- Online learning programmes
- Student data packages
- NAPLAN and exam preparation materials
- Professional development for staff
- School administration support
And, with public education and school budgets constantly under pressure, some schools are looking to pass on the costs for these commercial services to parents wherever they can.
Globally, the provision of education services is a massive business; worth an estimated $4.3 trillion annually.
The Commercialisation in Public Schooling report was commissioned by the NSW Teachers Federation and conducted by Professor Bob Lingard of the University of Queensland’s School of Education and a team which included Dr Sam Sellar (Manchester Metropolitan University), Dr Anna Hogan (University of Queensland) and Associate Professor Greg Thompson (Queensland University of Technology).
NSW Teachers Federation President Maurie Mulheron said the report sounded a warning for parents, teachers, governments and education administrators.
Several civil society several reports have raised major concerns on BIA, including on their quality, the fees charged, their discriminatory impacts and labour conditions. Bridge has rejected the findings of these independent reports. However recent media coverage has raised similar questions.
In the past two months two major news articles have been published on Bridge International Academies:
- No education crisis wasted: On Bridge’s “business model” in Africa, in Africa is a Country, by Maria Hengeveld, published 13 July 2017, initially published in Dutch news magazine De Correspondent.
- Can a tech start-up successfully educate children in the developing world?, New York Times, by Peg Tyre, published 27 June 2017.
These articles stand out for the investigative rigour of the publications they appear in, the depth and detail of their analysis, and the fact that they are based on original research. They allow for civil society claims to be verified against independent journalist investigations. The GI-ESCR has prepared a brief summarising 10 key findings from these articles. These findings not only corroborate the concerns raised by civil society, but also reveal evidence of new challenges. The GI-ESCR shares this information as part of its work to encourage transparency and accountability in the delivery of education in the context of the fast growth of private actor involvement.
On 1 August 2017, 174 civil society organisations from around the world released this statement calling on investors to cease support for Bridge International Academies, a company running over 500 commercial private schools in the Global South with the support of international donors and investors.
Cette déclaration a été signée par 174 organisations de la société civile du monde entier appelant les investisseurs de Bridge International Academies à cesser leur soutien à la plus grande entreprise d’écoles privées à dimension commerciale opérant dans les pays en voie de développement et soutenue par des donateurs et investisseurs internationaux.