Report: The Challenges of Public-Private Partnerships in Realising the Right to Education Online Workshop

A report from the Oxford Human Rights Hub and Education Support Program Online Workshop Exploring the Challenges of PPPs in Education

Publication Date:
Wed, 19/08/2015 - 10:55
File Size:
339.61 K

On 29 July 2015, the Oxford Human Rights Hub and the Education Support Programme of the Open Society Foundations hosted a participative and interactive online workshop exploring key challenges of public and private partnerships in realising the right to education.

Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) are an increasing phenomenon in the field of education. The growing influence of market models of private education has challenged the traditional understanding of education as a public good. This brings with it the risk that the State will abdicate its public responsibilities, and education will be viewed as a market commodity. This also raises the question of how to retain the fundamental nature of the right to education as a societal or public good, rather than a private good. There has been limited public debate on the merits and demerits of PPPs and while the debate has been approached from several perspectives, a solid Human Rights approach to PPPs is noticeably absent.

The aim of the online consultation was to fill this gap and to develop a Human Rights understanding in relation to several crucial issues raised by PPPs. UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education, Dr Kishore Singh, participated in the online workshop and used the discussions as a resource for his annual report to be submitted to the UN General Assembly in September 2015.
The online workshop investigated three key questions:
1. What is the role of the law in structuring a PPP and in conceptualising the purpose of education?
2. How can the State and private providers be held accountable for both quality in education and against corruption?
3. What enforceability measures are needed to hold actors in PPPs accountable?

This report is a summary of the discussion during the online workshop. It captures the key points argued by the allocated experts as well as the responses offered by the panel discussants and some of the questions raised by participants.

A recording of the event is available here: http://livestream.com/oxuni/education.

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