Planning to fulfil the right to education


Kristin F. Ruhs/Shutterstock
Nepalese school children in Ilam Region

Education is one of the most efficient tools to level inequalities, to help all people reach their full potential, and to build a more inclusive and peaceful world. Education is a human right for everyone, no matter what. It’s so fundamental, that it is indispensable to exercise other human rights. 

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights – and the Convention against Discrimination in Education - enable all persons to access this right without discrimination, and therefore governments across the globe are the primary duty-bearers of the right to education, and need to plan for the delivery of education. 

How do we fulfil this fundamental right? 

Educational planning is a crucial step as it connects the principles of the right to education to the delivery of education. IIEP-UNESCO makes available tools and guidelines to support countries in weighing and costing policy options and cross-checking them against the most appropriate benchmarks. 

A tool to align the right to education with sector plans  

For example, methodological guidelines are available to support educational planners and decision-makers in ensuring that education sector plans, and other national documents, align with international commitments and obligations on the right to education. 

The tool features an analytical grid – a checklist of 50-plus questions to help education actors verify that all the components related to the right to education are included in a current or future education plan. 

For example, it asks:

  • To what extent does the education budget ensure compulsory education for at least nine years? 
  • Are there regulations in place to regulate private actors in education and measures to ensure that they do not hinder public education? 
  • Does the plan address youth pregnancy, and include measures to combat stigma, stereotyping, and prejudice?  

For each question, planners reflect on whether the plan is fully, partially, or not meeting their national commitments, thereby providing a more nuanced picture of a country’s progress in fulfilling the right to education. 

By ensuring all elements surveyed by the guidelines are visible in the education sector plan, efforts can better be translated into action, and the right to education strengthened.  

“Just as education sector plans have made visible gender inequalities, this tool can shed light on the efforts made by the state for fulfilling the right to education,” says IIEP programme specialist Amélie Gagnon.

From the archives: Webinar series on the right to education 

As governments face growing pressure to ensure educational equity, the global phenomenon of privatization needs greater attention. What are the different approaches and where does privatization fit into the broader discussion of education as a human right? In 2021, IIEP hosted a four-part webinar series on the origins, spread, and outcomes of private sector involvement in education with Frank Adamson, Assistant Professor of Education Leadership and Policy Studies at California State University, Sacramento (USA). 

Watch the recordings on Equity, Privatization, and the Right to Education 

Webinar 1

Webinar 2

 Webinar 3

Webinar 4