Wednesday, October 29, 2014

‘Don’t Let Profit-Making Companies Run Education’ says UN Report

by , Schools Improvement Net:

Governments are bypassing their “moral imperative” to provide free state education by outsourcing public schooling to profit-making companies, a new United Nations report says. This is from the TES.

States should remain primarily responsible for providing free and quality basic education to all, it claims, and not allow their education systems to be exploited by private companies “reaping uncontrolled profits”.

The report calls for countries to put an end to “market driven education reforms” that provide subsidies to private education. States should also not allow or promote low-cost private schools and the provision of school vouchers, it says.

The report’s author, Kishore Singh, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to education, told the UN General Assembly: “Education is not a privilege of the rich and well to do; it is an inalienable right of every child.

“The exponential growth of private education must be regulated by governments to safeguard education as a public good.

“The state is both guarantor and regulator of education which is a fundamental human right and a noble cause. Provision of basic education free of costs is not only a core obligation of states, it is also a moral imperative.”

Mr Singh added that governments must meet their “international obligations” through careful regulation and monitoring of private schools, especially in developing countries where the public system is overwhelmed and unable to cope with rapidly rising demand…

Supporters of low-cost private schools in the developing world said it was important not to tar all providers with the same brush.

James Tooley, an academic and co-founder of the low-cost Omega Schools chain in Ghana, said many groups were doing vital work and promoting equality rather than hampering it.
  See the report from the UN at: Right to education

Is private education the bad guy here - in terms of providing a service that is clearly in demand from parents around the world desperate for an education for their children - or is it governments for not meeting the need themselves? Please give us your feedback in the comments or via Twitter…

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