Beyond 2015 is a global campaign aiming to influence the creation of a post 2015 development framework that succeeds the current UN Millennium Development Goals. It brings together some 800 civil society organisations in over 100 countries around the world. This paper, which focuses on education, was drafted by the Global Campaign for Education with the inputs of the Right to Education Project. It takes as a starting point the right to education and pleads for a universal, equitable access to quality education.

As many governments strive to expand basic education, they alsoface the challenge of ensuring that students stay in school long enough to acquire the knowledge they need to cope in a rapidly changing world.Assessments show that this is not happening in many countries. This Report reviews research evidence on the multiple factors that determine quality, and maps out key policies for improving the teaching and learning process, especially in low-income countries.

Much has been done globally to provide quality basic education for children, an obligation for the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In reviewing the research literature related to quality in education, UNICEF takes a broader perspective and demonstrates by this analysis that programmes must encompass a broader definition involving learners, content, processes, environments and outcomes.

Key resource

There has been renewed and amplified interest in learning outcomes as a tool for improving quality of education – an issue of central focus in the Post-2015 discussions. There are numerous learning outcomes assessment tools and methodologies.  However, missing from the debates is a human rights perspective. This briefing document, Learning Outcomes Assessments: A Human Rights Perspective, seeks to highlight the key human rights principles that should inform education policies on learning outcomes to ensure that these tools are used to promote quality education that develops the child’s personalities, talents, and abilities to live a full and satisfying life within society.  It also provides recommendations to policy-makers to ensure that education policies on learning outcomes adhere to human rights standards.

 

From humble beginnings in the early 1990s, charter schools have grown explosively to become a pillar in a market-oriented national education reform in the United States. The fiscal fallout from the financial crisis of 2007-08 constricted educational budgets and intensified the public debate around directing resources to all aspects of educational reform, especially charter schools.

The human right to education is well established in a variety of international treaties and covenants, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The right establishes the obligation of states to provide all young people with a quality education, as defined by the prevailing social and economic context of each country. Guidance provided by the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, focuses attention on the acceptability, availability, adaptability and accessibility of education in every context.

The impact of charter school expansion on the ability of U.S. states to implement the right to education for all children has, to date, been little considered in the national debate around education reform. Given the diversity of the legal foundations of charter schools in the states, it is difficult to carry out such an analysis at the national level.

Despite the fact that its public education system is rated among the most effective in the country, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has been the site of large-scale implementation of the charter school model. Prominent educational research institutes have analyzed Massachusetts charters and found them - especially the schools located in Boston - to be among the most successful in the country.

The experience of Massachusetts charter schools undoubtedly includes positive effects on the implementation of the right to education. A significant number of students who had difficulty accessing quality education in traditional public schools have been able to do so in charter schools. Many of those students are from racial or ethnic groups that have faced historic discrimination in U.S. public schools. In addition, charter schools are, by their nature, adaptations of the public education model and, therefore, increase the adaptability of the system.

At the same time, other aspects of the charter school model raise concerns from a human rights perspective, some of them serious concerns. The extreme school discipline models employed by some charters and the increased use of disciplinary exclusion to maintain social order in the schools both raise human rights concerns that go well beyond the right to education. Also, the existence of an “enrollment gap” between charter schools and traditional public schools, especially in relation to the enrollment of Students with Special Needs and English Language Learners is the source of further concern. Finally, the way in which charter schools are financed, in Massachusetts and in most other jurisdictions, gradually degrades the financial capacity of public school districts. This loss of financial capacity often leads to mass school closings or other major disruptions to the system. In districts with high charter density, this process can reach the point where the capacity of the district to provide for even the basic educational needs of all students comes into question.

Massachusetts and other states with relatively high charter density in urban centers should reinforce regulatory mechanisms in place to ensure the accountability of existing charter schools to legal and regulatory frameworks. In addition, legislative bodies considering laws to allow further expansion of charter schools should carefully consider the impacts of charter school growth on the human right to education of all children in their jurisdiction before enabling such expansion.

La Primera Observación General del Comité de Derechos del Niño interpreta el Artículo 29 (1) de la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño que define los propósitos de la educación.

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The first General Comment of the Committee of the Right of the Child interprets Article 29 (1) of the Convention of the Rights of the Child which defines the aims of education.

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The  report examines Senegal’s mixed record in addressing the problem in the year since a fire ripped through a Quranic boarding school in Dakar housed in a makeshift shack, killing eight boys. After the fire, President Macky Sall pledged to take immediate action to close schools where boys live in unsafe conditions or are exploited by teachers, who force them to beg and inflict severe punishment when the boys fail to return a set quota of money. While important legislation has advanced, authorities have taken little concrete action to end this abuse. The report informs about the regulation of Quranic school and makes recommendations.

 

Este paquete desarrolla una serie de ideas y metodologías para poner en práctica un planteamiento de la educación basado en los derechos humanos. Se concentra en seis sectores estratégicos, que son esenciales para trabajar en educación con un planteamiento basado en los derechos humanos y que proporcionan un marco para este trabajo. Estos sectores son: Comprender y asegurar el derecho a la educación; Trabajar con grupos excluidos; Financiar la educación; Promover la participación ciudadana en la educación; Conseguir derechos en educación; Promover un programa completo de “Educación para Todos”. Cada capítulo empieza con una breve presentación de los aspectos más importantes a ser analizados y sigue con una explicación de las actividades que podrían realizarse dentro de un esquema de trabajo. También se incluyen ejemplos prácticos de numerosos países. La mayoría de las actividades se centran en el trabajo a nivel local, pero también se analizan los vínculos nacionales e internacionales. Dentro de cada capítulo, hemos escogido dos o tres áreas que se analizan con mayor detalle. 

 

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