The UN Special Rapporteur on education, Mr Kishore Singh, recently voiced his concern over governments actively encouraging the growth of private education in basic education. In his statement, Mr Singh called upon governments to stand against the idea of privatising basic education and to strengthen their public systems to ensure free, quality, basic education for all.
“Free, quality basic education is a fundamental human right for all, and governments must not delegate this responsibility to the private sector.”
“I am deeply concerned that some governments are actively encouraging the growth of private education in basic education,” Mr. Singh said. “Education is not a privilege of the rich and well-to-do; it is an inalienable right of every child. Provision of basic education free of costs is a core obligation of States.”
“Privatisation in education negatively affects the right to education both as entitlement and as empowerment. Moreover, it depletes public investment in education as an essential public service and can lead to abusive practices.”
“Now more than ever, governments should be expanding public educational opportunities for the marginalised groups, especially children from poor families.”
Mr. Singh noted that, in the context of the UN Post-2015 Development Agenda, “education deserves to be a high priority, receiving a high degree of public investment in recognition of the fact that it benefits both the individual and society.”
“I call upon governments to stand against the idea of privatising basic education and to strengthen their public systems. Free basic education is the cornerstone of the right to education and must not be undermined through privatisation.”