This background paper prepared for the Global Education Monitoring Report provides both the rationale and the framework for re-centring a human rights’ perspective in education sector analysis. It draws on international human rights law as specified in the recently adopted Abidjan Principles on the human rights obligations of States to provide public education and to regulate private involvement in education, a landmark text for the interpretation of the right to education, in particular in the context of growing privatisation in and of education.
One of the most serious consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the disruption of children’s education worldwide with the closure of schools for public health reasons. Projections from UNESCO Institute for Statistics show that nearly 100 million children across eight age cohorts would move below the minimum proficiency threshold in reading in 2020 due to the pandemic (UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2021).
Early childhood, defined as the period from birth to eight years old, is a crucial time for the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional growth of children. Access to quality early childhood care and education (ECCE), therefore, can be vital in laying the foundations for children’s long-term development, well-being, learning, and health. Despite this, universal and equitable access to free, quality, and compulsory pre-primary education is one of the major education challenges. One out of two children does not receive pre-primary education.
In recent decades, governments have made considerable efforts to provide education for all. However, a large gap remains between international commitments, such as the Sustainable Development Goal 4, and the actual achievement of equitable quality education for all. As a result, certain actors often critique public education as ineffective and inefficient, and thus incapable of addressing this issue. They argue for privatisation as a solution, deeming private providers as more innovative and effective than public ones.
Early childhood education has the potential to expand opportunities for disadvantaged children, provided that programmes use inclusion as a guiding principle. While the international community has committed to inclusive education, countries vary in their efforts to extend this goal to early childhood. Universal access is the basis of inclusion, and countries must address barriers related to socio-economic status, ethnicity, gender, language, disability and remoteness.
In working towards creating inclusive education systems, many countries have failed to address discrimination and exclusion on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and
Si les données sur les attaques contre l’éducation sont devenues plus largement disponibles grâce à une meilleure prise de conscience et aux efforts des organisations nationales et internationales et des organes de contrôle, des lacunes de données critiques subsistent. Les systèmes de signalement peuvent être absents, médiocres ou déconnectés des réponses efficaces aux attaques contre l’éducation.
While data on attacks on education has become more widely available thanks to better awareness and efforts by national and international organizations and monitoring bodies, critical data gaps remain. Reporting systems may be absent, weak, or disconnected from effective responses to attacks on education. Monitors, as well as victims and witnesses, may face threats to their safety, or insecurity may prevent monitors from accessing areas where attacks occur. As such, many attacks and incidents of military use go unreported, undermining efforts to calculate their prevalence.