Policy briefs and Statements
Textbooks pave the way to sustainable development
Few instruments shape children’s and young people’s minds more powerfully than the teaching and learning materials used in schools. Textbooks convey not only knowledge but also social values and political identities, and an understanding of history and the world. Teachers and students trust textbooks as authoritative and objective sources of information, assuming that they are accurate, balanced and based on the latest scientific findings and pedagogical practice. In some contexts, textbooks are the first and sometimes the only books that a young person may read (Lässig and Pohl, 2009). In most classrooms they determine what and how teachers teach.
As this policy paper shows, however, textbooks in many countries still fail to deal comprehensively, clearly and fairly with concepts that are crucial for social cohesion, political stability and the future of the planet, including gender equality, human rights, environmental protection, peace and non-violence, and cultural diversity. This policy paper invistes all governments to review and revise their textbooks to ensure that the content covers these ideas, which are integral to Target 4.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals.
School-related gender-based violence is preventing the achievement of quality education for all
This policy paper is being jointly released by the Education for All Global Monitoring Report (GMR), UNESCO and the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI). It argues that school-related gender-based violence (SRGBV) is a global concern preventing children, especially girls, exercising their right to a safe, inclusive and quality education. The paper calls for a systematic and harmonized approach to identify, monitor and understand SRGBV, as well as strong policy interventions to develop targeted solutions to address the problem effectively.
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.
EDUCATION AND TRADE (September 2016)
This brief provides a comprehensive update (as at september 2016) concerning the main ongoing international trade negotiations: WTO, EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
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
EI Briefing Note on Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA)
The note briefly explains how EGRA work, outlines its pros and cons as an assessment tool and EI's specific concerns about EGRA's use - and misuse -, in particular as a global monitoring indicator in the frame of the Education 2030 Agenda. The paper also invites EI affiliates to play an active role in monitoring and acting on developments related to EGRA in their respectives countries and sectors.
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.