Indicators for a Broad and Bold Post-2015 Agenda: A Comprehensive Approach to Educational Development
This report reviews the conceptual debates and existing data sources that relate to three ambiguous and controversial targets included in the post-2015 education framework: Relevant Learning Outcomes; Knowledge, Skills, Values, and Attitudes (for education for global citizenship and sustainable development); and Teachers and Safe, Inclusive, and Effective Learning Environments.The report emphasizes the importance of complementing a focus on access with process and outputs indicators to ensure the quality of education systems. It also argues that, in any global framework for action, equity should be seen as cross-cutting to access, processes, and outputs, as well as inherent to any notion of educational quality.
PSI Special Report: The Really Good Friends of Transnational Corporations Agreement
Highly secretive talks began in 2012 to establish a new trade agreement, the trade in Services agreement (TISA). The group of countries negotiating TISA have given themselves an insider joke for a name, the 'Really Good Friends of Services', to signal how truly committed they are to promoting the interests of services corporations.
The idea for TISA originated with trade think tanks and lobbyists for transnational corporations unhappy with the pace of services negotiations at the World Trade Organization. The coalition of Services Industries has been clear about how ambitious TISA negotiators should be in achieving privatization and deregulation.
The objective of this paper is to help overcome the secrecy and complexity surrounding the TISA negotiations in order to bring the agreement into the public sphere for democratic debate. Eliminating government’s role in the delivery of services, getting rid of regulations, and allowing transnational corporations free rein sounds like the platform of a libertarian political party, a radical agenda that should be debated in public and that voters should have a say over at the ballot box. Instead, the Really Good Friends of Services have imposed unprecedented levels of secrecy on their negotiations, suppressing the public’s ability to discuss the serious issues at stake. The positions TISA governments take at the bargaining table – how much they push privatization and deregulation, whether they make concessions in sensitive areas like health, education, culture, water supply, and banking regulation - will not be made public until five years after the agreement comes into force. The report mainly gleans information from negotiators’ speeches, trade journals and leaked documents to indicate the threat TISA poses to public interest regulation.
Applying Right to Education Indicators to the post-2015 Education Agenda
In the frame of the UIS consultation on proposed post-2015 global education indicators, the Right to Education Project has published a paper on Applying Right to Education Indicators to the post-2015 Education Agenda. The paper argues that there is a need to introduce a human rights perspective to the post-2015 agenda and furthermore that the right to education indicators can give a fuller account of the progress made by States towards achieving the post-2015 goals.
While traditional development indicators evaluate education as a basic human need to be checked against development goals, right to education indicators aim to measure the extent to which individuals (rights-holders) enjoy their right and States (duty-bearers) fulfil their legal human rights obligations.
Human rights indicators can be categorised in three types: structural, process and outcome. While outcome indicators measure the enjoyment of the right to education, structural and process indicators measure the compliance of States with their obligations. All three types of indicators are important in monitoring progress towards the realisation of the right to education.
Privatisation in Morocco - CESCR Parallel Report
The report, compiled by the GI-ESCR and a coalition of Moroccan civil society organisations on privatisation in education, has been submitted to the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR). It will be complemented by another more exhaustive contribution, which will be sent to the Committee before the review of Morocco.
It draws on some of the research conducted by the Moroccan Coalition on Education for All (CMEPT) and the GI-ESCR as part of the elaboration of a parallel report on the same subject for the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which reviewed Morocco in September 2014 and adds new elements to the analysis of the impact of privatisation on the right to education in Morocco.
Despite the strong recommendations of the CESCR in 2006 and the concluding observations of the CRC in 2014, both expressing concerns about the uncontrolled development of private education in Morocco, the Government recently announced plans to reform the education system that includes further supporting private education, with a target of 20% of children in private schools by 2018 (it was 3% in 2000, 13% at the moment), and, crucially, the development of public-private partnership model in education.
TALIS 2013 Results: An International Perspective on Teaching and Learning
While the focus of Teaching and Learning International Study (TALIS) reports led by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has been on lower secondary education so far, this 2013 report broadens the picture to include both primary and upper secondary teachers. Significant similarities between both levels are revealed, such as the highly needed support for training, personnel and material resources at all levels of school systems.
The 2013 TALIS report also shows that most teachers across all education levels, although passionate about their work, feel that their profession is not valued by their society.
Profiting from poverty, again: DfID’s support for privatising education and health
Global Justice Now recently released a report condemning the increased use of UK aid to support private provision of basic services in education and health sectors. The report suggests that “British taxpayers’ money is increasingly being used to pave the way for private companies to access markets in basic services in developing countries” and describes such investment as “shocking.” It calls on the Department for International Development (DFID) to explore conflicts of interest, halt programmes that promote privatisation, work more closely with grassroots organisations, and set up funding for public healthcare and education systems.
The role and impact of private schools in developing countries
This paper presents a review of evidence on the role and impact of private schools on the education of school-aged children in developing countries. It was commissioned by the Department for International Development (DFID) and produced by a multi-disciplinary team of researchers from the University of Birmingham and the Education For All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report.
The focus of the review is on private school delivery of education to poorer sections of societies, including private schools identified as low-fee private schools (LFPs). The research question driving the review is: Can private schools improve education for children in developing countries? The strength of the evidence is assessed and varies according to different criteria: quality of teaching, cost of education delivery, gender, state regulation, etc.
In addition to the gaps identified from the areas that remain inconclusive, some overarching critical gaps and areas for further research that could strengthen this evidence base are identified.
The paper argues that arriving at general conclusions from the evidence reviewed is difficult because of the diversity of private schools, the significant gaps in the evidence and the fact that available research is rarely generalisable in itself. What is clear according to the authors, is the need for more targeted research to fill the gaps in our understanding of the role and impact of private schools in developing countries.
The ABC of Gender Equality in Education: Aptitude, Behaviour, Confidence
In all 65 countries that took part in the PISA 2012 assessment, girls show better reading skills than boys. Even in science, often perceived as a domain of boys, there are now more countries where girls do better than boys than the other way round. And yet, in most countries women still earn substantially less than men with similar qualifications. This isn’t mainly about men and women doing similar work for different pay, but about men and women pursuing different careers.
This new OECD report explores aptitude, behaviour and confidence of young girls and boys and their impact on such career choices. It underlines that closing this gender gap requires concerted efforts by parents, teachers and employers to become more aware of their own conscious or unconscious gender biases so that they give girls and boys equal chances for success at school and beyond.
Fixing the Broken Promise of Education for All – Findings from the Global Initiative on Out-of-School Children
This joint UNESCO Institute for Statistics/UNICEF report shows that around 63 million adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15 are denied their right to an education.
In total, 121 million children and adolescents have never started school or dropped out despite the international community's promise to achieve universal primary education by 2015. Data show that there has been almost no progress in reducing this number since 2007.
As pressure mounts to include universal secondary education in the post-2015 global development agenda, the report presents the way forward to break the barriers, often related to poverty, that keep children out of school.
Key findings are presented in an interactive data tool illustrating why millions of children are being left behind.
Teaching Teachers: Primary Teacher Training in Europe - State of Affairs and Outlook
A new study by the European Parliament assesses the state of initial teacher training, early career support and continuous professional development in Europe from the perspective of teachers and teacher educations in primary schools in Europe. The European Parliament's investigation takes into account the results of the ETUCE Mini-survey on the impact of the economic crisis on teacher education in the European Union (2012) and the EI/ETUCE Study on stress: the causes of stress for teachers, its effects, and suggested approaches to reduce it (2001).
The study underlines that the economic downturn has forced member states to reduce investments in education, hindering the quality of education. It concludes with policy recommendations on how to further improve teaching quality through teacher education and continuous professional development.
Segregating education, discriminating against girls: privatisation and the right to education in Nepal
This Report was submitted by the National Campaign for Education-Nepal, the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Sciences Po law school Clinic and partners, on the occasion of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Nepal.
It shows that the current organisation of education system in Nepal, in particular a high level of unregulated private involvement in education, is creating and entrenching segregation in education. This situation is extremely problematic due to the immediate human rights violations it is causing, but also because the injustices it generates contribute to threatening the fragile social cohesion and peace that exist in Nepal.
In the 2011 Universal Periodic Review (UPR) report, several countries recommended that Nepal focus on the inclusion of most marginalised social groups in society, especially through education. The report reveals that despite these recommendations, the situation has not significantly improved with regards to access to free quality education, in particular for the most marginalised groups.
Why Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs) don’t work
The report "Why Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs) don’t work: The many advantages of the public alternative" by David Hall, former Director of Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU), assesses the PPP experience in both industrialised and developing countries. The many case studies analysed, from United Kingdom to Chile, show that PPPs are an expensive and inefficient way of financing infrastructure and services, since they conceal public borrowing, while providing long-term state guarantees for profits to private companies.
The author proposes a public alternative to this system, in which national and local governments can continue to develop infrastructure by using public finance for investment, and public sector organisations to deliver the service.
Unions can extract information from this reference document and apply it to their specific contexts.
Tools for the protection of human rights - The right to education
The Center for Justice and International Law and the Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education (CLADE) present a new addition to the series "Tools for the Protection of Human Rights: Summaries of Jurisprudence", focusing on the Right to Education.
The publication identifies and compiles the main decisions made by regional courts related to the right to education, in order to make accessible the main standards produced by international bodies as well as to distribute them amongst those who work in this thematic area.
The volume includes judgments of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the European Court of Human Rights, the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the UN´s Human Rights Committee, which provide knowledge on the way these bodies have dealt with the different dimensions of the right to education and how they have interpreted the scope of protection. Additionally, some United Nations documents that offer conceptual elements on the specific content and scope of the right to education were included as annexes.
A review of school teachers’ pay in England and Wales compared with other graduate professions
The report commissioned by the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) shows that since 2010 the pay gap between teaching and other professions has widened.
According to Chris Keates, the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (NASUWT) General Secretary, "teaching has moved from being the number one choice for graduates in 2010 to one now where graduates are increasingly looking to other higher paid professions. There is already a recruitment and retention crisis in the Education Service. The stark differences in graduate pay highlighted in our research will unfortunately mean this crisis will worsen."
Eurydice report: National Sheets on Education Budgets in Europe 2014
The new National Sheets on Education Budgets in Europe: 2014 reveal that 2 out of 3 countries/regions in Europe are increasing their education budget for 2014 by more than 1 % at current prices. Conversely, 7 countries decreased their budgets by more than 1 %. Overall, statistics reveal that budget differences between countries are increasing.
The report covers 34 education systems across 29 European countries – most EU Member States, as well as Iceland, Norway, Montenegro and Turkey. The national sheets present an overview of the education budgets by type of expenditure and level of education.