This article is based on a year-long study of the right to education for child refugees and migrants from other African countries who find themselves in South Africa. It identifies a number of factors that inhibit children’s participation in education and shows how the right to education can be assessed and monitored using indicators.
This article explores the increasing privatisation of education. It examines various criticisms of the private provision of education and claims that privatisation is driven by an ideological agenda which is generally uncaring about any notion of the “public good” purposes of education — that is, of its role in producing social cohesion through the provision of education that is of high quality for all members of society.
Brief about education and disability in Burundi in post-conflict recovery.
This issue of the INTERIGHTS Bulletin focuses on litigating the right to education in Africa. It includes the following articles:
Litigating the Right to Education: Editorial
Solomon Sacco and Susie Talbot
Africa and the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Malcolm Langford and Rebecca Brown
Litigating the Right to Universal Primary Education: Challenges and Prospects
Toward Recognition of the Right to Free Education in Colombia
Esteban Hoyos-Ceballos and Camilo Castillo-Sánchez
Expropriation as a Means to Protect the Right to Basic Education: The Case of a Farm School on Private Property Facing Eviction
Lessons from Litigating Universal Primary Education in Swaziland
Developing a Litigation Strategy Regarding Non-Fee Barriers to Equal Access to Free and Compulsory Education for Children in Kenya
Litigating the Expulsion of Pregnant Girls
Tactics to Secure the Right to Education for Children Living with Albinism in Kenya
Gertrude N Angote
Dzvova v Minister of Education, Sports and Culture & Ors
Republic v Head Teacher, Kenya High School, ex parte SMY
The Legal Way of Doing Things: The Competing Powers of School Governing Bodies and Education Authorities in South Africa
The ECOWAS Decision on the Right to Education in SERAP v Nigeria
Adetokunbo Mumuni and Chinyere Nwafor
Advancing the Right to Education Through the Communication Procedure in the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child
According to international law, States have the principal responsibility ‘to ensure the direct provision of the right to education in most circumstances. Although private education is allowed under international law, there are specific conditions and limitations under which private education must operate. While empirical data about the effectiveness of public and private schools is needed to inform the debate on how to achieve quality education, there also needs to be criteria to assess the measures for determining ‘effectiveness’ and to define what models of private education are acceptable.
This paper identifies a set of criteria for assessing the conditions and limitations of private education drawing from human rights standards applicable to African States. It explore criteria that examine the central role of the State, universal free primary education, progressively available secondary and higher education, the aims of education, non-discrimination, and regulation of private education providers. An examination of these standards will provide an initial set of criteria for assessing the role of private education in Africa and a basis for further research.
It has recently been suggested that the age of human rights is over. The West, itself often not respecting human rights, is said to have abused the concept as a tool to retain control over the developing world. Human rights have remained a foreign construct in Africa, the Near East, and Asia. They have "underperformed," and the level of privation in many parts of the world is more intense than ever. This Article acknowledges elements of truth in these observations, but argues that the battle for human rights is not lost. Using the right to education in Africa as an example, three arguments will be presented to explain how human rights can regain their moral cogency and actually help change a world of misery for the better. First, human rights need to be "domesticized," made "home-grown" achievements with which local populations can identify. Regional human rights institutions need to give specificity to universal norms. These "locally-owned" norms must then be effectively enforced. Second, pure "development goal" approaches to reducing global poverty need to be debunked. Instead, a human rights approach needs to identify clear duty-bearers, including notably the World Bank, who, when they have failed to comply with specified duties, should be considered "human rights violators" and held accountable accordingly. Third, and perhaps most importantly, human rights must be recognized to give rise to extraterritorial state obligations. These are obligations of states, in appropriate circumstances, to respect, protect, and fulfill the human rights of those beyond their own territory. The extraterritorial human rights obligations of states must structure bilateral development assistance and cooperation, the lending operations of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, and free trade within and beyond the World Trade Organization (here, meaning the General Agreement on Trade in Services and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights).
This study investigates the emergence and supply-demand dynamics of a market for low-fee private schools (LFPS) at the level of early childhood care and education (ECCE) in a slum of Lusaka, Zambia. Based on data collection over 1.5 years, the study reveals that, despite a government policy to support ECE, over 90 per cent of ECCE centres are private; that school operators tend to be former teachers, businessmen/women, and religious leaders; and that LFPSs charge, on average, 2.5 times as much as government ECCE centres for tuition, not including additional indirect costs. The paper discusses how teachers in LFPSs are caught in the middle, making less than the average income earned by others in the surrounding slum, and are unable to afford LFPS fees themselves. Importantly, the paper highlights that lower income quintiles spend a greater percentage of their income on ECCE, and that a majority of families in the study must make trade-offs between ECCE, food, housing, and other basic expenditures in order to afford private ECCE, which is a necessity given the inadequate supply of government ECCE centres. In addition to addressing school strategies for keeping costs down, this study reports on parental decision-making when it comes to school selection. Finally, beyond a straight market analysis of LFPSs at the ECCE level in Zambia, this article also comments on how this market fits into the dialectical nature of local and global contexts. That is, it draws attention to the workings of the Zambian state and its precarious position in the global capitalist economy.