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ERIC Number: EJ1116585
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0305-4985
Towards a Human Rights Framework to Advance the Debate on the Role of Private Actors in Education
Aubry, Sylvain; Dorsi, Delphine
Oxford Review of Education, v42 n5 p612-628 2016
Part of the debate on the impact of privatisation in and of education lies in determining against which standards of evidence should the phenomenon be assessed. The questions "what impacts of privatisation in education are we measuring?" and its corollary "what education system do we wish to have?" are crucial to determining the response. Hence, some of the disagreements surrounding the analysis of empirical evidence on privatisation in education come from differences in the normative framework chosen. Some may, for instance, give a higher weight to equality and equity concerns, while others will consider choice as a structural principle. These disagreements have fundamental implications as to how research is done, interpreted, and used by policy makers, in particular in the Global South where the issues are especially acute. How can we reflect on these key disagreements? This article contends that human rights law, and in particular international human rights standards, as a universally agreed legal normative framework, must be considered and should be a cardinal reference to reflect on privatisation in education, and can provide a useful tool to provide a third way to reflect on this polarised debate. This stems in part from the fact that all countries in the world are party to one or more international treaties protecting the right to education and are thus legally bound to enforce it. However, the human rights framework contains inner tensions, that give it richness, but also require analysis to be able to use it. On one hand, it guarantees the right to mandatory and free quality education for all without discrimination, requiring that education systems "do not lead to extreme disparities of educational opportunity for some groups in society at the expense of others", while on the other hand, it provides for the liberty of parents to choose or establish a private school--which may be a source of inequality. This paper gives a preliminary assessment of this tension by providing an overview of what we know of the normative human rights framework, as a first step towards a broader project aiming at developing comprehensive guidelines unpacking the normative framework on the right to education relevant to privatisation. It is hoped that this preliminary assessment can help to reflect on some of the fundamental debates with regards to the effect of privatisation of education in the Global South.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A