This step will help you to interpret the data you gathered in Step 2.2 and to decide whether that data reveals any potential shortfalls when compared with relevant benchmarks, as identified in Step 2.3.

Using the previous steps, you should have identified the most problematic dimensions of the enjoyment of the right to education that you aremonitoring. This is reflected in thoseoutcome indicators for which your country has the largest shortfall when benchmarked.

Now you can analyse those problematic dimensions in light of the relevant human rights obligations. For instance:

  • Obligations of immediate effect andminimum core obligations require immediate action and must be prioritised by the State. If data for your chosen outcome indicator falls short of the benchmark, which for immediate and minimum core obligations tends to be implied in the content of the right itself, then there is a plausible reason to believe that the State is not complying with its obligations. For example, the obligation to guarantee free and compulsory primary education implicitly sets a benchmark of 100% forprimary education completion rate. Any shortfall is indicative of the State not meeting its immediate and minimum core obligation to guarantee free and compulsory primary education for all.
  • The right to non-discrimination and equality is both an immediate and minimum core obligation. As such, data for outcome indicators that reveals significant inequalities between and across groups (eg girls vis-à-vis boys, ethnic minority group vis-à-vis majority group, rural vis-à-vis urban, etc)may be indicative of discriminatory policies (of action or inaction) against the marginalised group.
  • Benchmarked outcome data may reveal that the State is failing toprogressively realise, according tomaximum available resources, various aspects of the right to education. For example, a lowsecondary completion rate compared to relevant benchmarks may indicate that the State is not taking all necessary steps and devoting its maximum available resources to the progressive realisation of universal free secondary education.
  • Poor performance, as determined by benchmarking, on standardised tests (eg low value ofmean performance on the reading scale or highpercentage of students at the lowest level of mathematics proficiency) may raise concerns about thequality of education.

​To help you analyse the specific shortfalls in the enjoyment of the right to education that you have identified, we have included some information for each indicator in theIndicators Selection Tool that can help you interpret shortfalls in light of the relevant human rights standards (also provided). If you need further guidance on that issue, we suggest you review those standards. 

Lack of enjoyment: not necessarily a violation of the right to education

It should be stressed that evidence of deprivations or inequalities in the enjoyment of the right to education does not provide in and of itself conclusive evidence that a State has violated this right. This is because deprivations or inequalities may sometimes exist,despite a State’s genuine and ongoing efforts to eradicate them.

However, in most cases inequalities in the enjoyment of the right to education (reflected in inequalities in outcome indicators between various groups of a population) are created and / or exacerbated bydirect and / or indirect forms of discrimination. Therefore, finding evidence for such inequalities is often a first step in proving discrimination, which needs to be corroborated later in the monitoring process (see Step 3).


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