Public participation in the design, implementation and monitoring of education policies is a fundamental human right. Underlying this principle is the basic idea thatrights-holders should be active agents, rather than passive recipients. Public participation also helps to strengthen theacceptability and adaptability of education, allowing the government to know more about the concerns, needs and preferences of different groups.
As part of your monitoring effort, you may assess the extent to which the public is encouraged toparticipate at all stages of the education policy cycle.
TheIndicators Selection Tool includes a number of indicators designed to analyse the extent to which a wide range of education policies adopted by the government are adequately participatory. These include:
- Are there any established mechanisms that enable parents, children and / or community leaders to work with the school staff in carrying out school self-assessments and developing school improvement plans?
- Are there any established mechanisms that enable parents, children and / or community leaders to contribute to defining school curricula and other parts of the learning process, and to making decisions on the school environment?
- Are there established mechanisms to enable parents, children and community leaders to contribute to the formulation and / or implementation of strategies to identify out-of-school children, to encourage school attendance and to reduce drop-out rates?
- Are there established mechanisms to enable parents, children and community leaders belonging to minorities to contribute to ensuring that education takes their needs into account?
- Are measures taken to enhance parents’ understanding of the importance of their children’s early education?
- Are there effective mechanisms to ensure that civil society organisations are consulted when national educational policies and legislations are agreed upon and multilateral or bilateral agreements that have an effect on the right to education are negotiated?
- Do civil society organisations face obstacles set by the State when monitoring the right to education?
Furthermore, in order to evaluate whether the various participatory mechanisms set up by the government regarding these education policy / programmes are adequately participative, you may examine the following:
Inclusiveness: To what extent were the mechanisms set up by the government for participation in the formulation of the policy / plan inclusive, allowing different groups of the population - especially traditionally excluded or marginalised groups – to actively participate in the various stages of the policy cycle?
Informed participation: Did the government provide the necessary information to the public -through means that they can actually access - about key aspects of the education policy / programme (eg the scope of the problem it’s trying to address, its objectives and time-bound goals, intended beneficiaries, the resources available, etc) to enable informed participation?
Impact of participation: To what extent were the inputs from variousstakeholders taken into account? What was actually incorporated into the policy / plan and subsequently implemented?