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General government expenditure on education (current, capital, and transfers) is expressed as a percentage of GDP. It includes expenditure funded by transfers from international sources to government. General government usually refers to local, regional and central governments (Source: UIS)

Comments:

This is the most basic expenditure ratio related to the right to education. It provides a snapshot of the extent of State commitment to the provision of education, reflecting the level of resources the State is willing to invest in education relative to its level of development

Available data:

UIS (Education>Financial resources>Expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP (%))

Human Rights Standards:

Articles 13 (2) & 14, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Article 28 (1), Convention on the Rights of the Child; Article 24 (2), Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; Article 7 (2) (c), ILO Convention 182; Article 17 (2), (Revised) European Social Charter; Article 13 (3), Protocol of San Salvador; Article 11 (3), African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Article 13 (4), African Youth Charter; Article 41 (2), Arab Charter; Article 4, UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education

Current public expenditure per pupil at each level of education, expressed as a percentage of GDP per capita

Comments:

This indicator measures the share of per capita income spent on each student. It helps in assessing whether a country’s level of investment in education is adequate to the right to education for all. When calculated by level of education, it also indicates the relative costs and emphasis placed by the country on a particular level of education

Levels of disaggregation: Level of Education, Region, Urban/Rural
Human Rights Standards:

Article 13 (2) & 14, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Article 28 (1), Convention on the Rights of the Child; Article 24 (2), Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; Article 7 (2) (c), ILO Convention 182; Article 17 (2), (Revised) European Social Charter; Article 13 (3), Protocol of San Salvador; Article 11 (3), African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Article 13 (4), African Youth Charter; Article 41 (2), Arab Charter; Article 4, UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education

This ratio is the percentage of Gross National Product (a proxy to measure national income) that goes into public expenditure

Comments:

Public expenditure ratio reflects the size of a government’s budget in relation to the size of its economy. It represents the resources a government has at its disposal to undertake all its functions, including in the education field. If this ratio is too low, the State is weakened, making it difficult to adequately provide resources for many competing and often essential functions. If this ratio is too high and a large proportion of national income is drawn into the public sector, this might depress private investment and restrict economic growth, which could jeopardise the sustainability of the realisation of the right to education and other rights

Human Rights Standards:

Articles 13 (2) & 14, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Article 28 (1), Convention on the Rights of the Child; Article 24 (2), Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; Article 7 (2) (c), ILO Convention 182; Article 17 (2), (Revised) European Social Charter; Article 13 (3), Protocol of San Salvador; Article 11 (3), African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Article 13 (4), African Youth Charter; Article 41 (2,) Arab Charter; Article 4, UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education

The education allocation ratio refers to the percentage of of public expenditure allocated to education

Comments:

This indicator reflects the relative priority given to education among competing budgetary needs. This ratio can help expose and challenge cases in which a government might make spurious arguments about lack of sufficient resources to discharge its duty of progressive achievement when, in fact, the problem is not resource constraints but rather the preference of that government to use available resources for extravagant spending, squandering State resources on unnecessary areas

Available data:

EdStats

Human Rights Standards:

Articles 13 (2) & 14, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Article 28 (1), Convention on the Rights of the Child; Article 24 (2), Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; Article 7 (2) (c), ILO Convention 182; Article 17 (2), (Revised) European Social Charter; Article 13 (3), Protocol of San Salvador; Article 11 (3), African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Article 13 (4), African Youth Charter; Article 41 (2), Arab Charter; Article 4, UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education

The primary education priority ratio is the percentage of total education expenditure allocated to primary education

Comments:

This indicator reflects priorities within a given educational system. The interpretation of low levels of this ratio will depend on the circumstances. Countries that have already achieved high standards of pre-primary and primary education may be justified in prioritising higher education levels. However, in countries where a significant proportion of the population is illiterate or many children are deprived of the most basic forms of education, a low primary education priority ratio could be interpreted as a violation of a State’s immediate obligation to guarantee free and compulsory basic education

Human Rights Standards:

Articles 13 (2) (a) & 14, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Article 28 (1) (a) (e), Convention on the Rights of the Child; Article 24 (2), Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; Article 7 (2) (c), ILO Convention 182; Article 17 (2), (Revised) European Social Charter; Article 13 (3) (a) (d), Protocol of San Salvador; Article 11 (3) (a) (d), African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Article 13 (4) (a) (c), African Youth Charter; Article 41 (2), Arab Charter; Article 4 (a), UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education

Comments:

Without such a monitoring body it may not be possible to regularly monitor whether the government's budget and allocation of resources are in accordance with human rights standards

Human Rights Standards:

Articles 13 (2) & 14, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Article 28 (1), Convention on the Rights of the Child; Article 24 (2), Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; Article 7 (2) (c), ILO Convention 182; Article 17 (2), (Revised) European Social Charter; Article 13 (3), Protocol of San Salvador; Article 11 (3), African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Article 13 (4), African Youth Charter; Article 41 (2), Arab Charter; Article 4, UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education

Key public financial documents include national and regional budgets, periodic reports on execution of the budgets, reports on distribution of resources by province or department

Comments:

Public access to key public financial documents related to education provides greater transparency and opportunity to monitor and hold government to account with regard to its education expenditure. The budgetary information publicly available should be sufficiently clear and comprehensive to allow members of civil society to effectively monitor service delivery resource flows and the allocation of funds in the education sectors

Human Rights Standards:

Article 19 (2) (3), International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; Article 10, European Convention on Human Rights; Article 13, American Convention on Human Rights; Article 9 (1), African Charter; Article 32 (1), Arab Charter; Article 23, ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

This indicator measures the estimated proportion of State activities in education funded through extrabudgetary sources, as a share of total public spending in education

Comments:

Where the use of extrabudgetary funds play a large role in resource allocation, the ability to track government’s priorities and to hold the government accountable for the financing of education, may be compromised

Human Rights Standards:

Articles 13 (2) & 14 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Article 28 (1), Convention on the Rights of the Child; Article 24 (2), Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; Article 7 (2) (c), ILO Convention 182; Article 17 (2), (Revised) European Social Charter; Article 13 (3), Protocol of San Salvador; Article 11 (3), African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Article 13 (4), African Youth Charter; Article 41 (2), Arab Charter; Article 4, UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education

The education budget execution rate is the percentage of the approved budget for the education in the last fiscal year that was actually executed

Comments:

If there is no reasonable explanation (eg an unexpected economic crisis that may have forced the government to significantly cut the overall budget or a significant emergency in another sector, such as health or security, which may have forced the government to divert funds originally allocated to education to that sector), significant underspending of the education budget (of over 10%) may be indicative of a violation of the obligation to dedicate maximum available resources to the realisation of the right to education

Human Rights Standards:

Articles 13 (2) & 14, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Article 28 (1), Convention on the Rights of the Child; Article 24 (2), Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; Article 7 (2) (c), ILO Convention 182; Article 17 (2), (Revised) European Social Charter; Article 13 (3), Protocol of San Salvador; Article 11 (3), African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Article 13 (4), African Youth Charter; Article 41 (2), Arab Charter; Article 4, UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education

Comments:

When States do not have enough resources for the realisation of the right to education for all people under its jurisdiction, they are compelled by international human rights law to seek international assistance and cooperation for the full realisation of this right

Human Rights Standards:

Article 2 (1), International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Articles 4 & 28 (3), Convention on the Rights of the Child; Article 8, ILO Convention 182

Comments:

Multilateral or bilateral agreements often have an effect on the right to education and therefore civil society organisations should be consulted when such agreements are being negotiated. Civil society organisations have specialist knowledge and can give comments on the potential effects of such agreements

Human Rights Standards:

Article 25 (a), International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; Article 2 (1), International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Articles 4 & 28 (3), Convention on the Rights of the Child; Article 8, ILO Convention 182

For instance, if the national government devolves the responsibility for hiring and paying teachers to the local level but does not provide to the local level the funds that until then were allocated for that purpose, the poorer local jurisdictions may not be able to hire all the necessary teachers

Comments:

If the distribution of funds for education from national to local level is not commensurate with the devolution of responsibilities to local levels of government – as it is often the case in decentralised educational systems – local governments may not be able to adequately undertake all the responsibilities that are necessary to ensure the full enjoyment of the right to education of people living under its jurisdiction.

Human Rights Standards:

Article 25 (c), International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; Article 13 (1) & (2), African Charter of Human and People's Rights; Article 23 (c), American Convention on Human Rights

Comments:

If there is no such system and the budget for essential aspects of the educational systems depends only on the capacity of each local government to mobilise local resources, those living in the poorer areas may not be able to fully enjoy the right to education

Human Rights Standards:

Article 25 (c), International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; Article 13 (1) & (2), African Charter of Human and People's Rights; Article 23 (c), American Convention on Human Rights