29 September 2021

UNESCO has launched a global reflection on the Right to Education, in the context of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the 1960 Convention against Discrimination in Education

Through a range of platforms, UNESCO is gathering insights and reflections on what the right to education should further embrace in order to respond to new and emerging challenges, and their implications for ensuring quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all. 

This is particularly significant given the context of the pandemic, in which the right to education has acquired salience and has been the topic of debate while school closures have made the exercise of this right contingent on internet connectivity. 

With less than nine years remaining to meet SDG4, UNESCO seeks to spark debate on the changing dimensions of the right to education, in order to enable a stronger educational recovery. 


What are the aims of the conversation?

One of the key objectives is to encourage reflection on broadening the scope of the right to education. UNESCO wishes organisations and individuals to consider how this right can contemplate and respond to new and emerging challenges, and what the implications of these  challenges will be for ensuring quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all.

According to UNESCO, ‘this will further inform the continued relevance of the international normative instruments and the desirability of their eventual updating in the framework of UNESCO’s governing bodies.’

The challenges to which education systems must respond could include but are not limited to ‘issues in relation to remote learning, digital inclusion and learner’s data and privacy aspects, connectivity, right to lifelong learning, early childhood care and education, right to education of displaced persons and other right-based areas, with the aim to prevent an exacerbation of inequalities worldwide.’


What are the key questions?

The conversation will focus on three key questions:

  1. What are the new dimensions that the right to education should embrace?

  2. What are the conditions needed for realizing the new dimensions such as connectivity, lifelong learning entitlements and others ?

  3. How responsibilities can be shared between the state and other stakeholders?


How can you get involved?

There are two main routes for participation: