“Today, Syrian refugee children in Jordan face a bleak educational present, and an uncertain future. Close to one in three—226,000 out of 660,000—Syrians registered with the United Nations refugee agency in Jordan are school-aged children between 5-17 years old. Of these, more than one-third (over 80,000) did not receive a formal education last year.”

This report looks at the needs of Syrian refugee children in Jordan specifically around access to education, what success the Jordanian government has already had in getting Syrian child refugees into education, but also the considerable work still needs to meet the Jordanian government's ambitious target of increading enrollment amongst those children currently still without access to education.  The report also looks at what role donor financial aid is playing in helping to alleviate the situation.

In this report, the Special Rapporteur argues that treating economic and social rights as human rights is essential both for efforts to eliminate extreme poverty and to ensure a balanced and credible approach in the field of human rights as a whole. He argues that economic and social rights currently remain marginal in most contexts, thus undermining the principle of the indivisibility of the two sets of rights.

Conventional wisdom celebrates the great strides that have been made in recent years in relation to economic and social rights. At the international level, the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has been adopted, an impressive number of special procedures have been created to focus on these rights and bodies like the Human Rights Council spend much more time than they once did debating these issues. At the national level, economic and social rights proponents celebrate the impressive degree of constitutional recognition of some or most economic and social rights, the growing capacity of courts in many countries to enforce them, the growth of national non-governmental organisations working on economic and social rights and the emergence of a vibrant scholarly literature on the justiciability of those rights.

However, despite important recent progress, the reality is that economic and social rights remain largely invisible in the law and institutions of the great majority of States. In support of this proposition, the Special Rapporteur notes that: many of the States whose Constitutions recognise economic and social rights have not translated that recognition into a human rights-based legislative framework; the increasingly widespread constitutional acceptance of the justiciability of economic and social rights contrasts with the resistance of many of the relevant courts to acting on these rights; many of the States that enjoy the world’s highest living standards have specifically rejected proposals to recognise economic and social rights in legislative or constitutional form; most national-level institutional mechanisms for promoting human rights neglect economic and social rights; and national economic and social rights accountability mechanisms are generally much rarer than mainstream accounts would suggest.

The extent to which economic and social rights remain unacknowledged as human rights is the frequency with which debates about economic and social rights slide imperceptibly and almost naturally into broad discussions of development. But, in fact, development initiatives might not be rights-promoting, or even rights-protecting. In this report, the Special Rapporteur spells out why it matters that economic and social rights be treated as human rights and examines the ways in which this can be done by outlining the recognition, institutionalisation and accountability (RIA) framework that focuses primary attention on ensuring recognition of the rights, institutional support for their promotion and accountability mechanisms for their implementation.

Colombia está ante la histórica oportunidad de dejar atrás un conflicto que ha afectado directamente a su población por décadas. Los acuerdos finales entre el gobierno de Colombia y las FARC-EP permitirán la construcción de una paz estable y duradera. Sin embargo, la firma y refrendación del acuerdo de paz con las FARC-EP, de capital importancia, deben entenderse como el inicio del verdadero proceso para lograr la paz.

El Estado colombiano tendrá la obligación de establecer una presencia sobre los territorios más alejados y abandonados, de una forma positiva que genere confianza, cambios reales y oportunidades para los territorios rurales afectados por el conflicto. Dudar o fallar en ésta labor podría perpetuar el periodo de violencia y frustración.

La inequidad en Colombia tiene un fuerte sesgo rural. Los índices de pobreza y marginalidad, ausencia de servicios públicos y falta de acceso a una educación pertinente y de calidad, son excepcionales en estas regiones. Según el último censo nacional, el 45,6% de las personas residentes en el área rural dispersa vive en condiciones de pobreza multidimensional, porcentaje que incrementa al 63,8% cuando se hace referencia a la condición de pobreza de grupos étnicos y poblaciones desplazadas por el conflicto armado.

Adicionalmente, éstas mismas zonas rurales son históricamente las más afectadas por la presencia de actores armados y la violencia. Según un estudio de 2012, el 57% de los niños, niñas, adolescentes y jóvenes reclutados y vinculados por grupos armados procede de familias muy pobres que tienen severas restricciones en el consumo de alimentos y que se han desplazado como media 4,5 veces por violencia. La falta de educación, de oportunidades laborales y la condición de pobreza, se transformó en la receta perfecta para perpetuar el conflicto armado durante cinco décadas en el país.

La debilidad institucional y el conflicto confluyen en la precaria situación de la educación rural en materia de acceso, permanencia y calidad. Más de un 20% de los niños y adolescentes rurales entre 5 y 16 años no va a la escuela, porcentaje que se incrementa al 73,7% entre los 17 y 24 años. La mitad de los niños, adolescentes y jóvenes rurales no llega a superar el quinto grado.

Estos jóvenes tienen menos oportunidades de acceso al sistema escolar y no existen soluciones de fondo a los retos de calidad, permanencia y deserción. La falta de continuidad de la oferta educativa, el desplazamiento forzado, la pobreza y los problemas económicos, el coste de uniformes y útiles escolares, el transporte y la necesidad de trabajar son los principales problemas.

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.

In the present report, the Special Rapporteur reviews the role of equity and inclusion in strengthening the right to education, in particular in the context of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. The Special Rapporteur concludes by calling for states to take significant, positive actions to tackle discrimination, inequity and exclusion in education to ensure that the Sustainable Development Goals are met.

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.

 

El informe "Educación privada de bajo coste en el Perú: un enfoque desde la calidad" ha sido realizado conjuntamente por un equipo de investigación de la Universitat
Autònoma de Barcelona y del Grupo de Análisis para el Desarrollo de Lima y ofrece un panorama actual de la distribución de la oferta privada en el Perú, con especial atención a Lima Metropolitana y, en particular, al distrito de San Juan de Lurigancho.

Children in Afghanistan – and their households may face war, displacement, migration and natural disasters in trying to access education, in addition to more common difficulties such as poverty and lack of access. This study, part of the Global Initiative on Out-of-School Children launched by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Institute for Statistics (UNESCO UIS), seeks to identify the barriers preventing children in Afghanistan from attending school, identify gaps in the current approaches to addressing these barriers and provide policy recommendations to move forward effectively. This is in line with the studies conducted elsewhere at the country and regional level for the out-of-school children initiative (OOSCI), based on existing data.

 

This report is the first time of its kind, looking at the educational impacts of homelessness on children. Important lessons were learnt after the devastating Hurricane Katrina in the US some years ago which left so many families homeless. There it was found that the school played a vital role in enabling children to access support, reducing distress and improving academic achievement. Many of these lessons could be applied in Ireland.

The report shows:

  • Children’s basic needs for nutrition, adequate rest and good health are not met when they experience homelessness. The children featured in the report experienced frequent school absences attributed to poor diet, inadequate rest and poor living conditions. The parents surveyed described how infections – including chicken pox, ear infections and head lice – were common, and difficult to treat and manage while living in overcrowded and confined accommodation.
  • Across all types of educational provision, parents reported that school was important to their children, not only because of friendships and learning experiences, but also because of the stability and predictability it offered amid the uncertainty and stresses that accompanied their experience of homelessness.
  • The majority of parents (17 out of 20) spoke positively about their children’s relationship with teachers and school staff. They described how praise, authentic encouragement and access to in-school supports had assisted children during periods of transition.
  • The parents and teachers surveyed repeatedly identified lack of access to a healthy diet as a factor impacting on children’s school attendance and learning. Parents described challenges in providing school lunches while living in emergency accommodation, with some reporting they had to choose between paying for transport to school and feeding their children.
  • Thirteen of 19 families surveyed indicated their children had to get up each morning before seven, with three parents waking their children at 5.30am to ensure access to a communal bathroom and allow enough travel time to get to school. Children were said to be fatigued before arriving in school, often sleeping on their morning commute.
  • Scarce financial resources, long journeys to and from school, significant transport costs, lack of appropriate facilities for food preparation and storage, and inadequate facilities for sleep and maintaining personal hygiene result in irritability, exhaustion, low self-esteem and feelings of social isolation amongst children experiencing homelessness. This impacts on their school attendance and results in reduced engagement and participation in school life.
  • The uncertainty and displacement caused by homelessness result in changes to children’s behaviour, including refusal to eat, increased levels of agitation, crying and comfort-seeking behaviours – with negative repercussions for their education.


The recommendations in the Children’s Rights Alliance report include:

  • A ring-fenced fund for schools to provide for the needs of children experiencing homelessness, including psychological assessment and support, extracurricular activities, homework clubs, additional tuition, or wrap-around services delivered within the school premises.
  • Increased provision of the Home School Community Liaison programme, and extension of this service to non-DEIS schools with children experiencing homelessness.
  • Expansion of the July Education Programme of the Department of Education and Skills – which provides funding to extend the school year by a month for children with severe learning disabilities or autism – to include children experiencing homelessness.
  • All temporary and emergency accommodation centres should have appropriately trained staff, safe and secure spaces for rest and sleep, age-appropriate homework and study spaces, adequate facilities for food preparation and storage, and appropriate standards of sanitary accommodation, including private bathrooms and access to washing machines.
  • A commitment from Government to provide a specific timeline in which it will end the use of emergency hotel and B&B type accommodation for families with children. The report recommends that families with children should not have to live in emergency or temporary accommodation for more than six months and figures relating to the type of provision and period of homelessness for families should be maintained and published on a monthly basis.
  • All schools making provision for children experiencing homelessness should have access to resources and facilities to provide children with regular, nutritious food. Consideration should also be given to mechanisms to support children’s access to nutritionally adequate food outside of school hours – through the development of community-based meal provision within school settings.
  • A review by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection of the circumstances of families experiencing homelessness to determine whether an Exceptional Needs Payment would assist with additional education-related costs, particularly at the start of the school year.

The report also includes interesting questionnaires used for the research.

Education is the right of every child. It empowers children to thrive. It helps promote greater civic engagement and peaceful communities. It is the most effective investment against child poverty and one of the best economic investments a country can make. This is why every child should be in school. Every child must have access to quality education, so they can fulfill their potential. In the State of Palestine, very few children of primary school age are excluded from education, but nearly five per cent of 10-15-year-old children and one out of three 6-9 year-olds with disabilities are out of school. The aim of this study is to identify who these excluded children are, where they live, and to understand why they are not in school.
 
Based on a global initiative led by UNICEF and UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics, it aims at providing a more in-depth analysis, using a unique conceptual and methodological framework to develop comprehensive profiles of out-of-school children and link them to the barriers and bottlenecks that led to school drop-out. It takes into consideration a variety of factors such as socio-economic factors, the quality of education, and the influence of the environment, the community and the school. This study aims not only at understanding what barriers and bottlenecks prevent access to school, but also at taking action about it. Based on research findings, it proposes practical ways of removing these barriers to get children back to school, and to keep the children who are at risk of dropping out in school. By promoting and implementing sound policies that address exclusion, we can make a substantial and sustainable reduction in the number of out of school children.