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

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.  

This report addresses the existence and operation of low cost private schools in Kenya. The research was conducted in Homa Bay County, Ndhiwa Sub- County where 11 schools were sampled for the research and over 131 interviews conducted. The interviewees comprised of policy makers, School manager’s/Head teachers, teachers, Parents and Pupils. The research sought to determine the existence, operation and legal status of low- cost private schools in a rural setting. It set to look into the various aspects of their operation including how they are managed, the kind of curriculum they use, the number and qualification of teachers employed, the fees charged and how affordable it is to the target community, school infrastructure, the schools’ relationship with the government, and how regularly they are monitored and regulated. Seven facts were deducted from the research as follows:

  • Fact 1, Affordability: More than two thirds of parents with children in Low-cost private schools can barely afford to pay fees and often have to forego some basic needs in the quest of ensuring their children receive Quality Education.
  • Fact 2, Teachers qualification and Teacher to Pupil ratio: 90% of teachers in public schools are TSC certified whereas 90% of teachers in Low-Cost Private Schools are not TSC certified.
  • Fact 3, Accessibility: Pupils have to walk long distances to access public schools.
  • Fact 4: School Infrastructure is poor in both public and low-cost private schools.
  • Fact 5: School management: 90% of schools visited do not have Parents-Teachers Associations and are in the process of establishing Boards of Management.
  • Fact 6: Most of the Schools visited were not Registered
  • Fact 7: Monitoring and Regulation of Low-Fee Private Schools in Homa Bay County is poor.
  • Fact 8: The Community Perceives the quality of education in Low-Fee Private Schools as higher than that in public schools.

On 13-14 March UNESCO hosted the Europe and North America Regional Consultation on the Human Rights Guiding Principles on state obligations regarding private schools. This was the third in a series of regional consultations, part of a broad consultative process to develop the Guiding Principles involving a range of stakeholders including civil society organisations, state representatives, human rights organisations and experts in the fields of education and law, academics, international and regional organisations and other actors. To obtain a comprehensive and comparative review of the draft text and taking into account the cumulative effect of the consultation process, the group reviewed a version of the Guiding Principles updated following previous regional consultations in Bangkok (August 2016) and Nairobi (September 2016). 

This report summarises the Eastern Africa Regional Consultation on Human Rights Guiding Principles on State Obligations regarding Private Schools held in Nairobi on September 5-7, 2016. The purpose of the regional consultation was to share the process for the development of, and for participants to input into, a set of Human Rights Guiding Principles on State obligations regarding private schools (‘Guiding Principles’). The Guiding Principles are a set of global guidelines that clarify human rights law related to private actors in education and are intended to be operational in and adaptable to different contexts. 

A report summary for the Asia Pacific regional consultation, held in Bangkok (August 2016) is available, here.

A report summary for the Europe and North America regional consultation, held in Paris (March 2017) is available, here,

This report summarises the Asia Pacific regional consultation on Human Rights Guiding Principles on State Obligations regarding Private Schools (hereafter ‘regional consultation') hosted by the Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE) in Bangkok on 30-31 August, 2016. The purpose of the regional consultation was to share the process for the development of, and for participants to input into, a set of Human Rights Guiding Principles on State obligations regarding private schools (‘Guiding Principles’). The Guiding Principles are a set of global guidelines that clarify human rights law related to private actors in education and are intended to be operational in and adaptable to different contexts.

A report summary for the eastern Africa regional consultation, held in Nairobi (September 2016) is available, here.

A report summary for the Europe and North America regional consultation, held in Paris (March 2017) is available, here.

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