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.  

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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