This report is concerned with the growing tendency amongst governments internationally to introduce forms of privatisation into public education and to move to privatise sections of public education. It identifies a set of global trends in the privatisation of education and details the variety of forms that privatisation in and of education takes; connects these forms of privatisation to particular contexts; considers some of the impacts and consequences of these privatising tendencies for the work of teachers and students' experiences of school; and explores some of the mechanisms and interests that are driving these changes.

 

In June 2014 the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (GI-ESCR), together with the Privatisation in Education Research Initiative (PERI) held a series of events in Geneva focusing on privatisation and the human right to education: a Human Rights Council 26th Session Side Event and and an Expert Meeting on Privatisation in Education. The events were intended to foster discussion and engagement, as well as to raise awareness about this key emerging issue, which is having a profound impact on the realisation of the right to education globally. These events brought together experts, advocates, academics, national education practitioners and international education advocates, both in order to share some of the research and advocacy efforts conducted so far on privatisation in education, as well as to strengthen the analysis of the application of human rights standards to the issue through the involvement of new and varied stakeholders.

This is a summary of the events and the themes that emerged.

Alternative report submitted in November 2014 to the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) at its 54th Session for its consideration of the List of Issues for Chile. The report calls on UN human rights experts to question the government of Chile about the human rights violations resulting from its privatised education system.

 

 

This report aims to present a brief overview of the ongoing privatisation processes in education in Brazil and its negative impacts on the achievement of the human right to education of children and adolescents.

This report, which complements a recent submission to the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) by the Brazilian National Association of Centers for the Defense of Child Rights (ANCED), cites evidence that education privatisation inhibits equity of access and participation, and reduces education to a commodity.

This report finishes by calling upon the Brazilian State to limit the role of the private sector in education, from preschool to higher education, and that the State itself should commit to ensuring the public provision of education through improved financing, regulation and governance enforcement mechanisms.

Alternative Report submitted by ISER-Uganda and the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, with the support of the Privatisation in Education Research Initiative, the Right to Education Project, Education International, the Global Campaign for Education, the Africa Network Campaign on Education For All, Forum for Education NGO's in Uganda and the Girls Education Movement Uganda Chapter to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights at its 54th Session for its consideration of the List of Issues for Uganda. This report highlights the issue of privatisation in education in Uganda.

 

 

Parallel Report submitted by the Coalition Marocaine pour l'Education pour Tous, Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and others to the Pre-sessional Working Group of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights on the occasion of the consideration of the List of Issues related to the Periodic Reports of Morocco. This report highlights the issue of privatisation in education in Morocco.

This booklet brings together educators from different countries to examine the negative effects of privatisation on the right to education, education quality, equity, and teaching. Building upon specific examples from the US, Canada, Chile and South Africa, it makes the argument that privatisation increases inequality and stratification in education, and substitutes good public policy with the vagaries of charity or the single-mindedness of profit-making.

La investigación presenta las formas contemporáneas de privatización en el campo educativo y los posibles impactos para la realización del derecho humano a la educación para todos y todas

In Asia, private supplementary tutoring consumes huge amounts of household finance, and has far-reaching implications for social inequalities, let alone the huge implications it has for school education services. Yet few governments have satisfactory regulations for the phenomenon. 

The book Regulating Private Tutoring for Public Good: Policy Options for Supplementary Education in Asia focuses on the extensive scale of private tutoring in countries of the region, regardless of their development status. The work shows wide diversity in the regulations introduced by governments in the Asian region. It notes not only that these governments can learn much from each other, but also that policy makers in other parts of the world can usefully look at patterns in Asia. The book also stresses the value of partnerships between governments, tutoring providers, schools, teachers’ unions, and other bodies.

 

The Right to Education Project, with the support of international and British organisations as well as teachers' unions have submitted a report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child about the UK's support of the growth of private actors in education through its development aid: questioning its responsibilities as regards its human rights extra-territorial obligations.

The report raises concern about the increased use of British aid money to support for-profit schools, in particular so-called ‘low-fee’ private schools, which are fuelling inequality, creating segregation and undermining the right to education.

The report finds that the UK’s policies in support of private education through its development aid are problematic and that the country could be violating its extra-territorial obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in two regards:

  • Firstly, the UK’s support for for-profit, fee-charging private schools that do not reach the poorest is questioned in light of the UK’s obligations to fulfil the right to education, including the right to free quality education without discrimination;   
  • Secondly, the UK’s responsibility is questioned in particular in relation to its own impact assessments that have been conducted on its policies of providing support to private schools and which have concluded that projects supporting private education providers are less likely to target the most marginalised, and that more research needs to be carried out on the impact of private schools in developing countries on, among other elements, the efficiency of “low-fee” private schools.

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