Education International’s African leaders have released a statement today calling on their Heads of States to reject privatisation and to invest in quality public education for all.
Entrenched inequality, especially for girls and the socially disadvantaged, will be made far worse by the privatisation of education, cautions the statement by the Education International (EI) African Regional Committee. It also highlights the negative consequences of policies which empower profit-seeking corporate actors in the public sphere. “We are witnessing a shift away from education as a public good. Far too many governments are retreating from their obligation as guarantors and providers of quality public education for all. We are seeing a reduction in education budgets and increased privatisation of education, which has crept into our education systems and influenced policy and decision makers.”
The statement articulates three clear demands, necessary for the achievement of Agenda 2063-The Africa We Want:
- Reject privatisation and profit-making in education because of the threat it poses to education as a human right and public good;
- Prioritise the achievement of inclusive and equitable quality free public education for all; and
- Realise the internationally-agreed minimum education funding benchmarks by allocating at least 6% of a country’s GDP or 20% of the national budget to education.
The statement warns against foreign multinational corporations who are seeking market opportunities and are targeting major African cities with the largest concentration of children. These companies are attacking and undermining public education across the continent according to EI. An example of this is the subject of the research paper: What do we really know about Bridge International Academies? by Riep, C. (2019), also released today alongside the African Union meeting.
“This is not the Africa we want,” said Christian Addai-Poku, Chairperson of Education International African Regional Committee. “Quality education for the public good is an indispensable condition for the development of our continent and the realisation of the full potential of all its people.”
The statement from the Education International African Regional Committee is available here
The research paper What do we really know about Bridge International Academies? by Riep, C. (2019), is available here