PERI Newsletter June 2015

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Thu, 02/07/2015 - 08:29
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PERI Newsletter June 2015

Video: 'Human Rights Policy Responses to the Growth of Private Actors in Education' Event, 12 June 2015
The Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, the Right to Education project, the Global Campaign for Education, andPERI recently hosted a panel discussion on ‘Human rights policy responses to the growth of private actors in education.' The event was held on Friday 12th June at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva and featured Mr Kishore Singh, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education; Ms Anjela Taneja, Head of Policy at GCE; Ms Salima Namusobya, Executive Director of ISER-Uganda; Mr Frank Adamson, Senior Policy and Research Analyst at SCOPE; and Mr Angelo Gavrielatos, Project Director for the Global Response to Commercialisation and Privatisation of Education at Education International. The recording is now availableonline.
PERI Newsletter June 2015
In the News
Uganda asked to supervise education sector more closely (the Observer)
‘The United Nations has asked the government to assume more supervision of private schools in the country to ensure the provision of quality education for all children. The call came during an international conference to review the country’s performance on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Geneva, Switzerland between June 10 and 11, 2015.’

State or private? Painful school choice that still fuels inequality in Britain (The Guardian)
‘Opting out is the process that fuels inequality, still the hallmark of our education system. The Sutton Trust found that despite the recent improvement, children from the richer fifth of neighbourhoods are nine times more likely to go to a good university than the fifth from the poorest. Inequality defines life chances.’
Wanted: The 'Bill Gates for education' (Devex)
‘Global education champions are looking for a benefactor, one who can help pull the sector out of its funding slump and turn a disappointing track record into an ambitious — but achievable — agenda. Step one is greater transparency.’

NMC proposes to privatize primary education, health services (The Times of India)
‘The BJP-ruled Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) is going all out to privatize major civic services. It now plans to rope in private players into primary education and medical services, which are the primary responsibilities of any civic body.’
Grading the Common Core: No Teaching Experience Required (The New York Times)
‘The new academic standards known as the Common Core emphasize critical thinking, complex problem-solving and writing skills… But the results are not necessarily judged by teachers.’
Tony Abbott's school reform paper proposes cutting federal funding (The Sydney Morning Herald)
‘Wealthy parents could be required to pay for their children to attend public schools under a radical federal government proposal that would open the door to means-tested free public education.’
Why World Bank praise for a profit-making education firm in Kenya was a bad idea (The Conversation)
Professor Steven J. Klees writes on the recent show of support from the World Bank to for-profit actors in education.

Highly trained, respected and free: why Finland's teachers are different (The Guardian)
‘Extensive training is the basis for giving teachers the autonomy to work the way they want. The result is a highly prized profession and an education system always near the top in international rankings.’

UN Special Rapporteur Releases New Report on Protecting the Right to Education from Commercialization (Right to Education)
'In this report submitted to the UN Human Rights Council, the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education looks with concern at the rapid increase in the number of private education providers and the resulting commercialization of education.'

U.S. For-Profits in Brazil (Inside Higher Ed)
‘As U.S.-based for-profit education companies continue to face stricter regulations and slumping enrollments and revenues at home, some are venturing abroad in the name of diversification, with Brazil being a main destination.’
'Govt to take initiatives for improving quality of school education' (Daily Times)
‘inister of State for Federal Education and Professional Training Engr Muhammad Baleeghur Rehman said on Wednesday that the federal government would introduce new projects for ensuring quality school education and improving enrolment rate.’
'It's a political failure': how Sweden's celebrated schools system fell into crisis (The Guardian)
‘Sweden, once regarded as a byword for high-quality education – free preschool, formal school at seven, no fee-paying private schools, no selection – has seen its scores in Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) assessments plummet in recent years.’

Uneven spread of private sector education (The Express Tribune)
‘[T]he lack of access to skill-imparting and good quality education are enduring hurdles which trap people in an inequality trap over multiple generations.’
The ultimate in school choice or school as a commodity?(Washington Post)
‘Democrats, teachers unions, public school superintendents and administrators are alarmed, saying that the Nevada law to provide private school vouchers is the first step toward dismantling the nation’s public schools.’
Nicky Morgan is wrong – the evidence for academies doesn’t add up (The Guardian)
‘A new bill promoting “academisation” is misleading – government claims about the effect of conversion are based on ideology, not data’
When Corruption Becomes Oppression in Bangladesh(World Policy Blog)
‘Perhaps…a first step to building a better system is a stronger enforcement of rules and regulations, from the top all the way down. At least in the case of Bangladesh, it appears this would give hope to children who leave school because success is an unattainable dream.’

Recent Submissions 
Press Release: UN human rights experts make ground-breaking statements on privatisation of education in Ghana, Chile and Uganda
Two United Nations (UN) human rights expert bodies have just this week issued ground-breaking statements that raise the alarm about the growth and effects of privatisation of education in Ghana, Chile and Uganda.

Recent Publications
Pearson and PALF: The Mutating Giant 
This latest study from researchers Caroline Junemann and Stephen J. Ball, published by Education International, explores the ‘aggressive lobbying, campaign contributions and PR efforts’ Pearson uses to exert ‘great influence over policymaking and policymakers in many countries.' It unpacks the activities of the Pearson Affordable Learning Fund, which exemplify Pearson’s ‘very decisive business commitment to education for the poor as a profit opportunity’.

Fighting to Learn: A Legal Resource for Realising the Right to Education
The Legal Resources Centre (South Africa) recently published the second edition of their publication Ready to Learn, detailing their strategic litigation work in education. The book details five cases and includes reflections on the Millennium Development Goals from the education perspective. The publication is available online by accessing the above link.
Private Education in the Absence of a Public Option — The Cases of the United Arab Emirates and Qatar
Huge population growth in Qatar and the UAE has meant rising demand for private provision of education. The authors explore the social justice consequences of this phenomenon and the potential of not-for-profit schools.
New Resources
Right to Education Project: Minorities and Indigenous Peoples Webpage
The Right to Education Project launched this month a new page on their website focusing on the right to education for minorities and indigenous peoples. 

We are very keen to receive more submissions so if you have something to share please do so through the website or email us. We would also encourage you to review the content that we have received and leave comments on the website. 

Warmest Wishes,

The PERI Team