The Special Rapporteur examines the right to education in the digital age and, specifically, how to uphold the norms and principles that underlie the right to education while embracing digital technologies, which are revolutionising teaching and learning processes and transforming the landscape of higher education. He considers issues related to marginalisation and exclusion, as well as the quality of education, especially human values in education. Concerns are expressed about the digital divide and about how it affects fundamental principles, such as equality of opportunity. The Special Rapporteur sets out policy and legal responses to address these issues and challenges, bearing in mind the normative framework of the right to education as established in international human rights treaties. He also highlights the repercussions of digital technologies on public investment in education and on the quality of education, especially in respect of preserving human values in education, and underlines the need to safeguard education as a public good. Finally, he offers a set of recommendations for ensuring that the implementation of digital technology in education is in keeping with State obligations on the right to education as laid down in international human rights conventions.

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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

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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.

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This report examines public-private partnerships in education, which are inextricably linked to rapidly expanding privatization. The Special Rapporteur highlights their implications for the right to education and for the principles of social justice and equity. Lastly, he offers a set of recommendations with a view to developing an effective regulatory framework, along with implementation strategies for public-private partnerships in education, in keeping with State obligations for the right to education, as laid down in international human rights conventions, and the need to safeguard education as a public good.

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Ce rapport examine les partenariats public-privé dans le domaine de l’éducation, indissociables de l’expansion rapide de la privatisation. Le Rapporteur Spécial souligne ainsi leurs incidences sur le droit à l’éducation et les principes de justice sociale et d’équité. Enfin, il propose une série de recommandations en vue d’élaborer un cadre réglementaire efficace, ainsi que des stratégies pour la mise en œuvre de partenariats public-privé dans le domaine de l’éducation, conformément aux obligations qui incombent aux États concernant le droit à l’éducation, énoncées dans les instruments internationaux relatifs aux droits de l’homme, et eu égard à la nécessité de protéger l’éducation en tant que bien public.

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En este informe, el Relator Especial examina las alianzas público-privadas relativas a la educación, que están ligadas indisolublemente al rápido avance de la privatización. Pone de relieve sus repercusiones en el derecho a la educación y los principios de justicia social y equidad. Por último, formula una serie de recomendaciones con miras a elaborar un marco normativo eficaz y unas estrategias de ejecución de las alianzas público-privadas en el ámbito de la educación, en cumplimiento de las obligaciones de los Estados relativas al derecho a la educación, conforme a lo establecido en las convenciones y convenios internacionales de derechos humanos, y la necesidad de salvaguardar la educación como un bien público.

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Dans ce rapport, la Rapporteuse spéciale examine la mise en œuvre du droit à l’éducation et de l’objectif de développement durable 4 face à l’importance croissante des acteurs privés dans le domaine de l’éducation. Elle présente les Principes d’Abidjan sur les obligations en matière de droits de l’homme qui incombent aux États de fournir un enseignement public et de réglementer la participation du secteur privé dans le domaine de l’éducation, et recommande de les mettre pleinement en œuvre. Elle rappelle que le droit international des droits de l’homme impose aux États l’obligation de garantir un enseignement public gratuit et de qualité. Selon leur nature et leurs objectifs, les acteurs privés peuvent contribuer à la réalisation du droit à l’éducation et favoriser notamment le respect de la diversité culturelle en proposant de nouvelles formes d’éducation. Le sous-financement chronique de l’enseignement public et l’essor rapide et non réglementé des acteurs privés, en particulier ceux à vocation commerciale, dans le domaine de l’éducation, menacent toutefois la mise en œuvre du droit à l’éducation pour tous et la réalisation de l’objectif de développement durable 4.

Enfin, le rapport contient des observations et des recommandations concernant l’obligation qui incombe aux États de garantir et de financer un enseignement public, ainsi que des suggestions et des solutions concrètes. Il s’inspire des Principes d’Abidjan, notamment en ce qui concerne l’obligation de réglementer la participation des acteurs privés dans le domaine de l’éducation, les partenariats public-privé et le rôle des donateurs et de la société civile.

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En este informe, la Relatora Especial examina el ejercicio efectivo del derecho a la educación y la consecución del Objetivo de Desarrollo Sostenible 4 en el contexto del aumento de las entidades del sector privado en el ámbito de la educación. La Relatora Especial presenta las Naciones Unidas los Principios de Abiyán sobre las obligaciones de derechos humanos que incumben a los Estados de proporcionar educación pública y regular la participación del sector privado en la educación, y recomienda que se pongan en práctica plenamente. La Relatora Especial recuerda que el derecho internacional de los derechos humanos obliga a los Estados a proporcionar una educación pública, gratuita y de calidad. En función de su naturaleza y sus objetivos, las entidades del sector privado pueden contribuir al ejercicio efectivo del derecho a la educación y ofrecer alternativas educativas, de modo que, por ejemplo, promuevan el respeto de la diversidad cultural.

Sin embargo, la escasez persistente de financiación de la educación pública y el aumento rápido y no regulado de las entidades del sector privado, en particular entidades comerciales, en el ámbito de la educación, amenazan el ejercicio efectivo del derecho a la educación para todos y la consecución del Objetivo de Desarrollo Sostenible 4.

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