In Asia, private supplementary tutoring consumes huge amounts of household finance, and has far-reaching implications for social inequalities, let alone the huge implications it has for school education services. Yet few governments have satisfactory regulations for the phenomenon. 

The book Regulating Private Tutoring for Public Good: Policy Options for Supplementary Education in Asia focuses on the extensive scale of private tutoring in countries of the region, regardless of their development status. The work shows wide diversity in the regulations introduced by governments in the Asian region. It notes not only that these governments can learn much from each other, but also that policy makers in other parts of the world can usefully look at patterns in Asia. The book also stresses the value of partnerships between governments, tutoring providers, schools, teachers’ unions, and other bodies.


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 present document, produced by the Brazilian Campaign for the Right to Education (Brazilian Campaign) and the NGO Ação Educativa, aims to present a brief overview of the ongoing privatization processes in education in Brazil and its negative impacts on the achievement of the human right to education of children and adolescents, as a contribution to the II Alternative Report on the Situation of the Rights of the Child in Brazil organized by the National Association of Centers for the Defense of Child Rights (Associação Nacional dos Centros de Defesa da Criança e do Adolescente - Anced).

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. 

The role of the private sector in education has become a very hot issue internationally and it has tended to lead to generalised and polarised statements rather than nuanced debates. Attempts to debate the role of ‘non-State actors’ in education often exacerbate the problem - as a huge range of different actors, roles and contexts get lumped together. The reality is more complex. This article is an attempt to disaggregate the debate in a concise form and offer some quick reflections on how we might understand and respond from a rights-based perspective in different situations.



In this report submitted to the UN General Assembly , the Special Rapporteur on the right to education examines State responsibility in the face of the explosive growth of private education providers, from a right to education perspective. He emphasizes the need to preserve education as a public good, which must not be reduced to a profit-making business. He also underlines the importance of the principles of non-discrimination and equality of opportunity, as well as social justice and equity. States must develop a regulatory framework for all private providers of education, including sanctions for abusive practices. The Special Rapporteur highlights some additional key issues and concludes with recommendations. 



Conférence donnée à Sciences Pô paris, le 18 Mars 2015 à 17h, comprenant:

  • Une allocution de Kishore Singh, Rapporteur spécial de l’ONU sur le droit à l’éducation
  • Une présentation d’études de cas de privatisations au Chili et au Népal par la Clinique de l’École de Droit de Sciences Po
  • Les réflexions d’Olivier De Schutter, universitaire et membre du Comité des droits économiques, sociaux et culturels de l’ONU

Ces dernières années, le nombre d’enfants scolarisés au sein d’établissements primaires et secondaires privés a augmenté de façon spectaculaire, notamment dans des pays en voie de développement. S’il n’existe pas de modèle unique d’école privée, on assiste à une multiplication récente d’établissements scolaires payants à but lucratif. Des écoles privées « à bas coût », visant à faire des profits en proposant des frais de scolarité modestes aux plus pauvres, ont notamment fait leur apparition.

Cette privatisation croissante du système éducatif soulève un certain nombre de questions au regard du droit à l’éducation et plus généralement, des droits de l’Homme. Si le cadre normatif des droits de l’Homme protège le droit des parents de librement choisir le genre d’éducation qui sera donné à leur enfant, il exige également que chaque enfant ait accès gratuitement à une école primaire et secondaire de qualité, et que le système éducatif ne soit pas inégalitaire.

Comment alors s’assurer que la privatisation de l’éducation, en particulier dans les pays en voie de développement, ne soit pas source de ségrégation et d’inégalités ? Quelles réponses les Etats peuvent-ils apporter ? Comment protéger l’éducation d’une marchandisation qui affecterait sa nature même ? Telles sont quelques-unes des questions sur lesquelles les intervenants proposeront leur réflexion et débattront avec le public.

Parallel Report submitted by the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition and the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, with the support of the Africa Network Campaign on Education For All, the Privatisation in Education Research Initiative, the Right to Education Project, the Global Campaign for Education and Education International to to the Committee on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women on the occasion of the consideration of the List of Issues related to the Periodic Reports of Ghana. This report highlights the issue of privatisation in education in Ghana.