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.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) restrictions on recurrent government spending are working against the MDGs, and Education for All, this report argues. Through research with the governments of Malawi, Mozambique and Sierra Leone, this study shows that IMF-imposed macroeconomic policies and explicit caps on teachers’ wage bills have forced many poor countries to freeze or curtail teacher recruitment, and are a major factor behind the chronic and severe shortage of teachers.

This workshop had 4 objectives:

  • Highlight the issue of the right to education of children and young people deprived of their liberty
  • Bring about better coordination between all stakeholders involved in this sector.
  • Examine the practical contingencies to be addressed in view of promoting quality basic education to all minors deprived of their liberty in Africa, and outline which actors could take part in the conception and implementation of the proposed actions.
  • Examine how to contribute to coordinating and enhancing the relationship between African organisations and their governments to progressively improve access to basic education in detention environments, taking stock of relevant experiences existing on other continents.

The report presents the conclusions and recommendations of the workshop as well as practical resolutions.

These conclusions and strategy for action present:

  • Preconditions for education of minors in prisons, including legal framework and regulations
  • Educational programmes for minors: objectives, content and implementation
  • Common Strategy for an efficient action in favour of education of minors in prisons in Africa

This report is the culmination of five years’ implementation of ActionAid’s multi-country project aimed at empowering girls and enabling them to enjoy their rights to education and participation in a violence-free environment. The uniqueness of this project resides in the connection between research, community intervention and advocacy reinforced by a strong partnership approach.

On ActionAid website are also available the executive summary (French and English) and the success stories (English and Portuguese).

The report documents how child marriage prevents girls and women from participating in all spheres of life and how the practice violates their rights, including the right to education. It is based on in-depth interviews with 80 girls and women in six districts in southern and central Malawi. Interviews were also conducted with government officials, magistrates, child protection workers, police officers in charge of child protection, social welfare officers, traditional and religious leaders, health workers, teachers, legal and women’s rights experts, and representatives of nongovernmental organizations, the United Nations, and donor organizations.
 
The report describes factors contributing to child marriage, the severe consequences of child marriage, the risks that girls face when they resist these marriages, and the abuses they frequently face in marriage. It also examines the absence of protection for victims of child marriage and the many obstacles they face in attempting to obtain redress; as well as shortcomings in existing programs to combat child marriage.
 
The report reviews Malawi's laws and international obligations on child marriage as well as on the right to education and makes concrete recommendations to the Malawi government.
 

Alternative Report submitted by ISER-Uganda and the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, with the support of the Privatisation in Education Research Initiative, the Right to Education Project, Education International, the Global Campaign for Education, the Africa Network Campaign on Education For All, Forum for Education NGO's in Uganda and the Girls Education Movement Uganda Chapter to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights at its 54th Session for its consideration of the List of Issues for Uganda. This report highlights the issue of privatisation in education in Uganda.

 

 

This edition of the Economic and Social Advocacy Brief looks beyond the increased enrollment figures and provides a qualitative assessment to determine if the current basic education system in Uganda is directed to the full development of the human personality.

Education Minister Hon. Jessica Alupo sets the scene in a Q&A by voicing her support for the increment of the UPE Capitation grant and implementation of other measures aimed at motivating teachers.

Uganda Human Rights Commission writes about the states obligation in relation to the right to education, veteran journalist and Observer Education Editor, Moses Talemwa, writes about the state of public education in Uganda as well as the implications and impact of privatised education on the broader right to education.

UNESCO makes the case that quality education requires a commitment to invest in teachers.

The Brief features the views of six Members of Parliament from the Education Committee on how to improve the quality of universal basic education such that it adheres to an acceptable standard. The Brief also provides excerpts and highlights from the alternative reports on education submitted to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights ahead of Uganda’s review by the Committee in June 2015.

In April 2015 the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology issued a statement banning pregnant girls from mainstream education. The exclusion of pregnant girls from mainstream education and from sitting exams is a violation of their right to education and a discriminatory measure which reinforces negative stereotypes about girls. Enforcement of the ban was immediate and was done through searches and physical examination of girls. Threatening their physical integrity and privacy Despite the establishment by the government with the support of some international donors of an alternative “bridging “ education system that would allow pregnant girls to continue going to school, there are still concerns about the human rights of the girls. Mainly for their lack of choice in attending one system or the other, their inability to take exams and the persistent stigmatisation of the ban.

Parallel Report submitted by the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition and the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, with the support of the Africa Network Campaign on Education For All, the Privatisation in Education Research Initiative, the Right to Education Project, the Global Campaign for Education and Education International to to the Committee on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women on the occasion of the consideration of the List of Issues related to the Periodic Reports of Ghana. This report highlights the issue of privatisation in education in Ghana.

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