This paper highlights key concluding observations adopted between 2014 and 2016 by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR), and the UN Committee on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) regarding the role of private actors in education in Brazil, Chile, Ghana, Haiti, Kenya, Morocco, Uganda and Zimbabwe. These add to more than 50 other concluding observations previously issued by these committees on the topic.

This report assesses the PPP policy in education in Uganda and its compliance with the human rights standards as well as the right to education for all children. In addition, the report examines issues of regulation and supervision of PPP schools, equitable geographical access to education, access by vulnerable groups, financing and costeffectiveness, as well as quality of education and value for money.

This report assesses the PPP policy in education in Uganda and its compliance with the human rights standards as well as the right to education for all children. In addition, the report examines issues of regulation and supervision of PPP schools, equitable geographical access to education, access by vulnerable groups, financing and costeffectiveness, as well as quality of education and value for money.

There is no robust evidence that private schools aimed at low-income families provide a better education than public schools in developing countries, according to GCE's new major report on for-profit, privatised education. The report sets out the corrosive consequences – greater inequality and social segregation – of increasing privatisation in education, and casts serious doubt on the ability of for-profit, low-fee private schools to achieve quality education for all.

‘Low-fee’ private schools have been put forward as way to fix the failings of public education systems in several developing countries, with advocates – which include the multinational publishing giant Pearson PLC, billionaires Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, the World Bank Group, and the UK’s Department for International Development - claiming they deliver a quality education, for the poorest families, at a low cost. Private Profit, Public Loss: why the push for low-fee private schools is throwing quality education off track explores these claims and, on examination of a broad spread of evidence, finds such claims wanting. In reality, such schools worsen social inequality by creating an unfair system where the quality of a child’s education is determined by how much their family can afford to pay.

The report argues that governments must stop this dangerous experiment with these for-profit, private schools and instead commit to improving their public education systems. With proper funding, strong policies, and plenty of political will, governments can provide a free, quality education that’s accessible to everyone.

The report finds that these schools:

  • Stay low-fee by providing low quality: chronic underfunding of the education sector has led to dismal outcomes, but private schools are also performing poorly. Trained teachers are acknowledged by States as one of the most critical factors in realising quality – but they are being substituted for standardised lessons, often taught by tablet, and by teachers who in the most extreme situations have had only 4 days training.
  • Price families in poverty out of classrooms: In Nigeria, the average cost to send two children to a low-fee private school consumes almost 40% of the monthly minimum wage – yet 60% of the population live below the poverty line, earning at most only 72% of minimum wage.
  • Put up barriers for girls’ education: When parents in India, Pakistan, and Kenya couldn’t afford to enrol multiple children, evidence shows boys are often picked over girls to go to school.
  • Fail to reach children with disabilities: Even if parents of children with disabilities can afford the fees, their children can be discriminated against, or even flatly denied admission, as one study in Nepal found.

The report outlines a path to providing quality education for all children, but warns that there are no quick fixes. Governments should stop subsidising private schools and instead fully fund public schools. This includes well-trained teachers, qualified support staff, and school facilities which are fit for purpose. In addition, public schools must be accountable and transparent to curb corruption and misuse of funds, while private schools must also be held to account and regulated to ensure they are meeting national education standards.

Smarter tax policies can help provide countries with the funds needed for these improvements. The report notes that the IMF estimates that developing countries lose US $200 billion a year due to companies using tax havens. Just 20% of that would be enough the cover the shortfall in funds needed to provide everyone with a quality education.

Donor governments and institutions should support these policies and boost their own levels of aid, which the report says have stagnated and fallen in recent years. The report warns that diverting the funds which do exist to for-profit private sector providers will further erode already weak public systems, and deny another generation of their right to free, quality education.

This study investigates the operations of Bridge International Academies in Uganda where it has quickly expand since February 2015, with an estimated 12,000 fee-paying students. The company’s profit-driven, standardised ‘Academy-in- a-Box’ approach involves the neglect of legal and educational standards established by the Government of Uganda. This includes requirements to employ qualified teachers, observe the national curriculum and standards related to school facilities.

The Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights considered the combined fifth and sixth periodic report of the Philippines on the implementation of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (E/C.12/PHL/5-6) at its 65th and 66th meetings (E/C.12/2016/SR.65 and 66) held on 28 and 29 September 2016, and adopted the following concluding observations at its 79th meeting, held on 7 October 2016.

Bridge International Academies (BIA) is a large and expanding business that provides for-profit  private  education  in  Kenya,  Uganda,  Nigeria  and  India.  With  support  and  investment coming from global edubusiness Pearson, the World Bank, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and high profile actors such as Mark Zuckerberg and the Gates Foundation, the claims that BIA makes regarding its services are impressive, portraying the company as providing a magic bullet solution to educational inequalities and a high quality alternative to insufficient and inadequate government provision (Bridge International  Academies,  2016b)1.  Focusing  on  BIA’s  operations  in  Kenya,  this  study  seeks to monitor these claims by uncovering the extent to which they reflect the situation on-the-ground.

Below are the report findings and a five point analysis of what the data collected means from a human rights perspective, with the full report at the bottom of the page.

PDF iconGI_KNUT_Bridge_V_Reality_Report_Findings_Dec_2016_EN.pdf

PDF iconISER_GIESCR_EachRights_What_do_the_new data_on_Bridge_International_Academies_tells_us_2016_En.pdf

In this decision, the Supreme Court of India interpreted the right to education to include the right to the provision of a safe environment in schools, and imposed an obligation on schools to comply with certain fire safety precautions which were detailed in the judgment.

More than 40 percent of Tanzania’s adolescents are left out of quality lower-secondary education despite the government’s positive decision to make lower-secondary education free.

This report examines obstacles, including some rooted in outmoded government policies, that prevent more than 1.5 million adolescents from attending secondary school and cause many students to drop out because of poor quality education. The problems include a lack of secondary schools in rural areas, an exam that limits access to secondary school, and a discriminatory government policy to expel pregnant or married girls.

For a summary, see here.

For an esay to read version, in English, see here.

RESULTS Educational Fund’s report “From Free to Fee”, investigates World Bank’s basic education investments through its private lending arm (the IFC). The report seeks to explore if IFC investments in education reach the poorest groups and help reduce extreme poverty. From Free to Fee provides evidence from IFC funded schools in Kenya, Uganda, and South Africa, and presents recommendations for the World Bank, the IFC, and other investors on how to more effectively end poverty through basic education.  

Pages