Abolishing School Fees in Africa is the product of a SFAI workshop, “School Fee Abolition: Building on What We Know and Defining Sustained Support,” held in Kenya in 2006. The book begins with a comparative overview of the processes, challenges, and lessons learned by five countries that had already abolished school fees: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, and Mozambique. The subsequent chapters delineate the actual experiences of each of the countries in planning and implementing their policies.
In this policy brief, the Global Campaign for Education, outlines ten clear recommendations for the Education Financing Commission, which will launch its report on 18th Spetember, 2016. The recommendations are:
- Ensure harmony with existing education efforts (the right to education and Education 2030) as wells as existing mechanisms, such as the Global Partnership for Education
- Support free education
- Support public education
- Ensure long term, predictable, and sustainable financing
- Ensure inclusive and democratic country-led processes
- Emphasise the diverse aims of education and look beyond standardised testing to a wide range of indicators
- Ensure governments allocate at least 20% of their budgets to education
- Ensure governments increase budget size
- Budgets should prioritise equity
- Budgets should be transparent and subject to scrutiny
This toolkit has been produced by the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) in collaboration with ActionAid International (AAI) and Education International (EI), and with funding from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). It aims to support civil society organisations and education activists across low- and middle-income countries to advocate and campaign on issues related to financing for education, as a strategic focus area of the GCE movement. It is also a result of increasing interest in advocacy around domestic financing for education as identified through GCE’s Civil Society Education Fund (CSEF) programme (GCE website).
GCE, AAI and EI are launching this toolkit as the world embarks on the difficult task of putting into action the newly agreed Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4), and the accompanying Education 2030 Framework for Action (FFA). The SDG 4 and the FFA contain collective commitments to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all by 2030. In recognition that enacting this expanded agenda will require more funds for education, the FFA sets out financing benchmarks that commit governments to spending at least 4-6% of GDP and 15-20% of total budgets on education, and it highlights domestic resourcing as the most important way of funding education. In addition, in order to address issues of quality and equity in education, the FFA recognises there is a need for greater efficiency, better targeted spending and increased accountability (UNESCO, 2015a).
Civil society can – and should – play a critical role in this, which requires the building of a powerful evidence base on which to conduct advocacy and put pressure on governments to deliver sufficient funding for education, primarily domestic, complemented by external support where necessary. It is hoped that this toolkit will help to build knowledge and capacity so that education advocates and activists across the developing world can more effectively hold their governments accountable.
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.
The second edition of the Global Education Monitoring Report (GEM Report) presents the latest evidence on global progress towards the education targets of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
With hundreds of millions of people still not going to school, and many not achieving minimum skills at school, it is clear education systems are off track to achieve global goals. The marginalised currently bear the most consequences but also stand to benefit the most if policy-makers pay sufficient attention to their needs. Faced with these challenges, along with tight budgets and increased emphasis on results-oriented value for money, countries are searching for solutions. Increased accountability often tops the list.
The 2017/8 GEM Report shows the entire array of approaches to accountability in education. It ranges from countries unused to the concept, where violations of the right to education go unchallenged, to countries where accountability has become an end in itself instead of a means to inclusive, equitable and high-quality education and lifelong learning for all.
The report emphasises that education is a shared responsibility. While governments have primary responsibility, all actors – schools, teachers, parents, students, international organizations, private sector providers, civil society and the media – have a role in improving education systems. The report emphasises the importance of transparency and availability of information but urges caution in how data are used. It makes the case for avoiding accountability systems with a disproportionate focus on narrowly defined results and punitive sanctions. In an era of multiple accountability tools, the report provides clear evidence on those that are working and those that are not.
The report focuses on the legal obligations of states and private entities to mobilise all resources at their disposal, including those that could be collected through taxation or prevention of illicit financial flows, to satisfy minimum essential levels of human rights and finds that states who facilitate or actively promote tax abuses, at the domestic or cross-border level, may be in violation of international human rights law.
The report is based on a detailed examination of UN treaty bodies and special procedures’ views on the current interpretation of the scope and content of this obligation to mobilise resources. Further, it is published against the backdrop of increased awareness of the relationship between economic policies and human rights and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which committed all UN member states to ‘strengthen domestic resource mobilization, including through international support to developing countries, to improve domestic capacity for tax and other revenue collection’ and ‘significantly reduce illicit financial flows’.
According to UNESCO, 264 million children and youth are still out of school around the world, and this is only accounting for the primary (61 million) and secondary school (203 million) age population. In particular, the poorest and most marginalised, including ethnic and religious minorities, persons with disabilities, girls, and populations experiencing conflict, are often systematically unable to access and complete a full cycle of quality education. The first volume of NORRAG Special Issue (NSI) is dedicated to examining international frameworks and national policy as well as the challenges of fulfilling the right to education in practice.
The inaugural issue of NSI on the Right to Education Movements and Policies: Promises and Realities aims to highlight the global and national level experience and perspective on guaranteeing the right to education, as outlined in international frameworks, national constitutions, legislation, and policy, when creating the required administrative structures to ensure that the right is respected, protected, and fulfilled for all.
The Issue is divided into six parts, each focusing on a specific theme of right to education policy and practice. The first part includes an article written by RTE staff on The Role of Court Decisions in the Realisation of the Right to Education, which draws on RTE's background paper on accountability for the GEM Report 2017-8.
In this case, ISER successfully petitioned the High Court seeking declarations to the effect that the government policy on public financing of secondary education in Uganda infringes on the rights to; equality and non – discrimination; and quality education as guaranteed under Articles 21; and 30 and 34(2) of the Constitution respectively. The court directed that; government must ensure equity for all children in the design and implementation of education programs; and that government should take its lead position in regulating private involvement in education to ensure adherence to minimum standards – in doing so, it should make good use of the Abidjan Principles on the human rights obligations of states to provide public education and regulate private involvement in education to offer the necessary guidance. ISER successfully petitioned the High Court seeking declarations to the effect that the government policy on public financing of secondary education in Uganda infringes on the rights to; equality and non – discrimination; and quality education as guaranteed under Articles 21; and 30 and 34(2) of the Constitution respectively. The court directed that; government must ensure equity for all children in the design and implementation of education programs; and that government should take its lead position in regulating private involvement in education to ensure adherence to minimum standards – in doing so, it should make good use of the Abidjan Principles on the human rights obligations of states to provide public education and regulate private involvement in education to offer the necessary guidance.