Policy briefs and Statements
EI Brief - The Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA)
TISA is a set of negotiations being undertaken by some members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) with the aim of further liberalising trade in services. It is intended to be a broad and comprehensive agreement with no exclusion of service sectors at the outset. Potentially, therefore, all service sectors could be covered, including public services like health care and education.
Including education services in any trade agreements raises significant concerns. For that reason, EI and its affiliates in participating countries are actively monitoring TISA negotiations and related talks to press for the broad exclusion of education and other public services.
This briefing note takes stock of TISA negotiations and outlines how it relates to education and other public services to support EI affiliates' and partners' advocacy efforts at national level.
GMR Policy Brief: Pricing the right to education: The cost of reaching new targets by 2030
In view of the Financing for Development Conference that will be held in July (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) to discuss the cost of post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, UNESCO’s Education for All Global Monitoring Report (GMR) has released a new paper revealing that an annual US$22 billion external funding gap must be bridged if low and lower middle income countries are to achieve quality universal pre-primary, primary and lower secondary education by 2030.
This projected finance gap already assumes a considerable increase in national public expenditure in low income countries on pre-primary and basic education, from 2.3% to 3.4% of GDP between 2012 and 2030. It also assumes an increase in the share of their budget allocated to education to 19.7% over the period.
The paper concludes that aid will remain a crucial source of education finance over the next 15 years if the targets are to be met. Across low and lower middle income countries, donor aid for pre-primary, primary and lower secondary education will need to at least quadruple.
GMR Policy Brief: Increasing tax revenues to bridge the education financing gap
Sustained economic growth has increased the resources that many of the world's poorest countries can raise domestically to finance their education strategies. Many countries furthest from the Education for All goals, however, do not sufficiently tap their tax base. Strengthening tax systems is an essential condition for achieving Education for All.
This policy paper shows that if governments in 67 low and middle income countries modestly increased their tax-raising efforts and devoted a fifth of their budget to education, they could raise an additional US $153 billion for education spending in 2015.
An Education Goal beyond 2015: EI's call for Quality Education
Unite 4 Education: Non-Discriminatory Education
Ensure the principles of equity and non-discrimination are enshrined in national legislation and cover administrative practices as well as the individual acts of public authorities. Ensure that social inclusion is promoted and mainstreamed throughout the education system, including financing, policy development, curriculum and pedagogical practice, as well as teacher training. Ensure that measures for increasing access to education, reducing drop-out rates and improving retention and completion rates identify and target communities that are most marginalised.
Post-2015: Measuring the (real) scope of ambition
The post-2015 development agenda aspires to global transformation. Its content so far, including the set of 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) agreed in last year’s Open Working Group, affirms that aim through an unprecedented commitment to inclusion, sustainability and universality. This suggests that the world might finally move beyond current imbalanced patterns of consumption and production that have left wide swathes of human deprivation and pushed the limits of planetary boundaries.
Yet the main question, after the most recent intergovernmental negotiations on the agenda in March in New York, is: will the political process live up to the agenda’s promise? It is still early days in forging global consensus, but given the stakes at hand, momentum is critical. Will governments and all other actors exercise the kind of visionary leadership and risk-taking that transformation demands? Or will they fall back on protecting familiar vested interests and avoid risk by seeking easier, quicker agreement? Does the calculation of political risk overwhelm the very urgent imperative to take serious action on urgent issues—namely, the long-term survival of people and the planet?
Post-2015 and Financing for Development: Debates Begin, Political Lines Emerge
The Global policy watch has released a policy brief taking stock of the two–track negotiations unfolding at the United Nations from now until September, concerning the post–2015 sustainable development agenda and financing for development, an independent process that began at the 2002 Monterrey Conference.
While the two talks are separate, the brief shows that the issues in each are deeply interlinked, and that the success of any new model depends on the outcomes of both.
Unite 4 Education: Public Private Partnerships
This brief addresses the facts that: PPPs violate the principle of education as a human right; they contravene the ethos of education and downgrade the work and status of teachers; they facilitate the privatisation of education and multi-stakeholder partnerships in education; and (MSPE’s) are a viable alternative to PPP’s.
Unite 4 Education: The Use of Information and Communications Technology in the Classroom
Modern developments in information and communication technologies (ICT) provide exciting possibilities to enhance the quality of education. Interactive education software, open access digital libraries, and cheaper and more intuitive technology may facilitate new forms of interaction between students, teachers, education employees and the community and enhance the quality of education by making it more accessible.
Education may be enriched by integrating such technologies into traditional educational activities. However, it must be recognised that ITC may never displace the relationship between teacher and learner which is crucial to the learning and development process.
ICT has the capacity to enhance the learning process and facilitate communications within education institutions and between educators and learners but it must be used in education institutions under the supervision of qualified well-trained professionals with the expertise in pedagogy and in education to ensure that its impact does not damage or undermine the learning process or the development of learners.
Unite 4 Education: Tools and Materials for Quality Teaching and Learning
Qualified teachers with necessary teaching and learning tools and materials are the foundation for quality and effective education. Life skills of students are reinforced with quality teaching and appropriate learning tools and materials. Appropriate and adequate teaching and learning tools and materials are needed for the effective provision/delivery of quality education.
Towards human rights norms and standards to assess privatisation in education
This presentation by Sylvain Aubry (Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights) summarises the limitations of the role of private actors as providers of education according to Human Rights Law. It compiles norms and standards developed in international instruments such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Convention on the Rights of the Child and the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education. The analysis links together the so-called "5 pillars" regulating private providers' intervention in education, based on human rights law and some of the most problematic aspects of the expansion of the private sector in the education sector (such as testing, profit-making, fees, etc).
GMR Policy Brief - Wanted: Trained teachers to ensure every child’s right to primary education
This paper, jointly released by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and the Education for All Global Monitoring Report (GMR) on World Teachers' Day, shows that there are massive and persistent teacher shortages, especially of well-trained teachers. These chronic shortages will continue to deny the fundamental right to primary education for millions of children in decades to come if concerted action is not taken.
Based on a series of projections on the numbers of teachers needed and the costs to hire them, this paper also highlights the urgent need to ramp up teacher training programmes in the immediate future.
Unite 4 Education:Collective Bargaining for Teachers
In order to guarantee that teachers have a collective voice, governments must: Ratify ILO Conventions 87 and 98, on top of Conventions 151 and 154; ensure that teachers, in both the public and private education sector, have the fundamental right to form unions and to negotiate working conditions and quality of education; ensure that collective bargaining is institutionalised; and respect collective agreements in full, also in times of economic crises.
EI statement on equitable quality education
At the Rio+20 Conference in 2012, governments agreed to launch a UN-led process to create a set of universal Sustainable Development Goals. The so-called Open Working Group (OWG) was established in January 2013 and consists of 70 Member States. They are expected to propose goals across all three dimensions of sustainable development (social, environmental, and economic). The OWG will present its final proposal to the UN General Assembly 2014.
The OWG is currently the main process and platform for formulating a post-2015 agenda and EI has actively contributed to their work. In June 2013, the OWG held a session that was devoted to education, where EI gave a presentation on the role of education for sustainable development.
Unite 4 Education: The Right to an Education Begins at Birth
This brief outlines the core beliefs that: education is a fundamental human right for all, and a public good; quality education needs an inclusive and holistic approach. Fairness and equity is fundamental to quality education; quality education requires quality teachers; and that quality education must be publicly financed.