2021 Consultation

Non-state actors in education

Online consultation for the 2021 GEM Report:

Non-state actors in education

Few topics in comparative and international education generate heated debates like the issue of the public versus private role in education. While everyone wants to achieve the goal of providing quality education for all, who delivers it, who is engaged, and how they are engaged is a subject of much consternation.

The 2021 version of the Global Education Monitoring Report will tackle this topic head on – to monitor the situation, inform and advance research and provide policy recommendations.

Among its objectives is to broaden the conversation on the many ways in which non-state actors are involved in education systems – providing education (private, NGO, faith-based or community schooling); providing ancillary services (school meals, technology, conducting assessments, supplementary tutoring); influencing education system functioning and financing (equity implications; influence over national policies; additional resource mobilization prospects); and the state role in the process (regulatory frameworks, accountability mechanisms).

In addition, the Report will reflect on the most recent developments in the non-state actors’ landscape. As global corporations or philanthropic foundations increase their interest in what and how education is delivered, their influence and prominence in the global education community as well as in their dealings with countries creates new challenges and opportunities for public-private interactions. Similarly, as governments grapple with providing early childhood education for all in the SDG era, many public-private arrangements are likely being developed or expanded.

These topics and more will be analysed to come up with evidence-based policy recommendations for all actors in education to protect the provision of an inclusive, quality education for all and to help achieve SDG 4.

Please read the concept note in English/ Français / Español Русский / العربية / 汉语 and contribute to this online consultation.

Post your contributions as comments (below) to this blog, providing web links to research reports, policy papers, evaluations, and other documents or datasets that you think would be useful for the Report team.

If you would rather email your comments, or have attachments of documents or data that you would like to share with the GEM Report team, please send them directly to gemreport@unesco.org with ‘2021 Report Consultation’ as a subject heading.

You are welcome to post your contributions in any of the 6 United Nations languages (English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian or Chinese).

29 thoughts on “2021 Consultation

  1. A great concept paper.
    Within a democracy of course the state should supply all that is needed for education. However within the democratic tenets non state actors in education play a vital role in democratic decisions not becoming state mandated autocratic ones. When it is considered that educational decisions are based on value preferences implicitly held and or explicitly stated within curriculum committees, often the state in choosing one set of knowledges to be learned over another crosses the value preferences held by other groups at large. If these groups are for example politically powerful or religious based or private entrepreneurs that can offer alternatives within the democratic framework to satisfy the demands of education and particular value preferences, non state actors emerge.There is no logical reason that the state should have all its citizens learning the one set of knowledges beyond the basic literacies. Some cultural artefacts maybe should be handed down and some industrial input should be managed in the later stages of compulsory state education but apart from that non state actors should be encouraged and fostered even financially.The reason for the latter factor of course is that if this sector collapsed then the state sector could not cope with the influx of students!! Dr Darol Cavanagh Australia


  2. Although I welcome the GEMR focus on non-state actors, I’m concerned about it providing a platform for the private sector to sell false promises of quick solutions to achieve SDG4. I keep hearing and reading the need to move beyond ideology as the new mantra to push for more private provision. But when I actually read this supposedly ‘non-ideological’ research, it is either weak in terms of academic rigour or weak in terms of actual improvements in education.

    Our recent research confirms what many scholars and practitioners have been pointing as being the main risks of the increased private provision in education. These risks are related to its effects in terms of equity, discrimination, social stratification. The lack of adequate regulation (Ron Balsera et al, 2016) together with the lack of adequate financing (Ron Balsera et al., 2017) has fueled the worldwide growth of private providers in education (Verger et al. 2020).

    ActionAid’s two studies in seven African countries (One in Ghana, Kenya and Uganda https://actionaid.org/publications/2019/multi-country-research-private-education-compliance-right-education; the other in Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria and Tanzania https://actionaid.org/publications/2020/private-education-and-compliance-abidjan-principles) have used the one-year-old Abidjan Principles to assess the impact of private provision on the right to education. We found that private providers are supplanting rather than supplementing public education; that public education is inadequately funded which is resulting in low quality and households having to pay fees; that private provision is exacerbating social inequalities, directly and indirectly discriminating and excluding disadvantaged groups; that they are having a negative effect on education system as a whole, increasing the gap in terms of education opportunity; and that government regulation is not fit for purpose in terms of laws, policies, enactment, enforcement, monitoring, supervision, partly due to a lack of financial, human resources and accountability.

    As such, although more research on the real impact of non-state actors in education is necessary (which should take equity, systemic impact and intersectional analysis into account following the Abidjan Principles), this should not distract us from focusing on increasing the availability, accessibility, acceptability and adaptability of public education as the best way to achieve SDG4 and other related SDGs.


  3. I welcome the proposed GEM2021 thematic approach on non-state actors and I am also inviting you to see GCE’s toolkit: “Public Good Over Private Profit: A Toolkit For Civil Society To Resist The Rise Of Privatisation In Education Global Campaign For Education”, which can be found here:


    Overall, I think the concept note focus on the four types of non-state activities in education is appropriate.
    I also think that the GEM2021 could make an important contribution in clarifying the ongoing debate on “Privatization” vs. “Commercialization”, which are often used interchangeably. A conceptual approach to the “not-state” notion is crucial for understanding the nature and scope of “private education”.

    There are different types of private schools and in many cases they are subject to different domestic regulations, depending on the purpose of their activity. There are differences, for example, between not-for-profit schools run by NGOs, public-funded private schools, faith-based organizations, community-led initiatives and commercial for-profit establishments and chains.

    The mixed models, which correspond to private schools subsidized by public funding are common in the Netherlands and Belgium, for instance, where the vast majority of the primary and secondary education is provided by private grant-aided schools . Chile is another example.

    The increasing privatization of education is a global phenomenon, which although it has affected low-income and fragile countries , has spread more strongly in developed ones and possibly attempts to reproduce as a “role model,” as is often the case with colonialist practices.

    For instance, according to the World Trade Organization, in all OECD members, for which comparable data is available, private funding on educational institutions represents around 15 per cent of all expenditure (in the United Kingdom, private funds are reported to constitute around 25 per cent of all educational expenditure), while in more than one-half of developing countries, private spending accounts for more than 10 per cent of total education expenditure, with important variations. Today, private institutions globally account for some 30 per cent of all students in higher education.

    Most worrisome, however, is that the World Bank states that only few member countries of the OECD have program standards to the quality of services, especially for programs delivered by private providers.

    As the concept note foresees, the notion of Non-state actors includes groups, companies and private (non-public) institutions that directly or indirectly provide educational services (for-profit or not).

    This category also includes groups, companies and private institutions that, without providing the educational service, sell or donate goods or services to the public education system.

    The variety of scenarios and roles also makes it necessary to deepen the conceptual and legal differentiation of the public and private spheres, considering that:

    a) The private initiative in education is protected as a fundamental freedom and has as a correlate the right of parents to choose the type of education they want for their children

    b) Public education is the one provided only by the State, in accordance with human rights normative framework

    c) Public financing of for-profit non-state actors is not contemplated in international human rights law.

    The private sector, philanthropic organizations and foundations can certainly play an important role in education, but their contribution should never replace the State’s central obligations, which should materialize in free public quality education and lifelong learning for all.

    The concept note can also explore the impact of private activity on education, in terms of curriculum development, teacher training, text books and achievement of education aims, as stated in article 29 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and General Comment 1 of the Committee on the rights of the child. The experience of private actors (for-profit or not) that substitute State´s role (perhaps serving as concessionaires), could be counterproductive for the achievement of the Education Agenda 2030 / SDG4. This is an issue GEM2021 should address, given that curricular standards may vary at the discretion of private school administrators/owners, if the State does not have strict oversight/regulation mechanisms.


  4. We applaud everyone who plays a role, large or small, in promoting quality education around the world.

    As a U.S.-based startup nonprofit international peer-to-peer e-learning platform, research organization and volunteer movement focused on improving education and lives around the world, we have a presence in 20 countries and plans to expand to more than 100 nations. Initially, we are focusing our efforts on Nepal, India, the U.S. and a few other countries.

    Our founder, Bimal Kumar, attended an event hosted by Generation Unlimited and the Global Business Coalition for Education — GBC-Education is a coalition of businesses — including Microsoft, Intel and Discovery Learning Alliance, among others — at UNICEF during the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2019. At the gathering, they discussed partnerships, innovations and investments in reimagining education as a practical way to provide young people skills for the future in our tech-focused, globalized world.

    We are committed to doing our part to combat the global education crisis, and welcome the opportunity to work with governments, NGOs, foundations, corporations, donors, volunteers, researchers, teachers, administrators, students and parents anywhere and everywhere.

    School Group
    A global e-learning platform, education research organization and volunteer movement


  5. Education has always been one of the most powerful tools to bring in social change and desirable development in any society. I worked on education programmes in many countries of Asia and understood that my convictions about developing and implementing quality education programme are extremely important. According to Professor Amartya Sen (A renowned Nobel Laureate Economist and one of the most important thinkers of our century) “One way of seeing development is in terms of the expansion of the real freedoms that the citizens enjoy to pursue the objectives they have reason to value, and in this sense, the expansion of human capability can be broadly, seen as the central feature of the process of development.” Professor Sen argued further “…Capability refers to the alternative combinations of functions from which a person can choose. Thus, the notion of capability is essentially one of freedom-the range of options a person has in deciding what kind of a life to lead. Poverty of a life in this view lies not merely in the impoverished state in which the person actually lives, but also in the lack of real opportunity-given by social constraints as well as personal circumstances-to choose other types of living….poverty is, thus ultimately a matter of ‘capability deprivation’. …” This human capability is, of course, related to both good health and wellbeing that allow one to attain reasonable and quality education that not only deals with understanding of immediate surroundings but appreciation of logical thinking, creative ideas and innovative guidelines to move on the way of progressive movements of a society, on the other hand good education helps to promote economic opportunities and gainful employment to lead a descent life that one deserve to enjoy as a human being. But at the same time this is not enough, thus there is essential need to expand freedoms of citizens, social opportunities, freedoms of thoughts and democratic principles and practice and a suitable culture to cultivate and instil ethical human values to promote the pluralism, mutual trust, cooperation, respect for pluralism, tolerance, equality, social justice in which education is extremely important matter for any society. The question of public or private role of education has always been debatable and both have positive and negative aspects. But based on various research findings we found that public education pogramme with high level of accountability, transparency and integrity always produce remarkable output and contribute towards healthy economic development at large. The private initiative may be good in certain quality aspect but not good in terms of its affordability, accessibility and universal opportunity, where as a good governing systems and stable political and economic ambiance of a public education initiative has huge potential to plan nationally of how to develop human capital that would effectively contribute towards national economic development, where private initiatives severely lacking such a wide and holistic vision and capacity. Private education initiative in most cases guided by the more profit and locating its premises in areas where education business has the possibility to flourish in those geographical areas where rich people concentrate to fulfill localized need but not in those areas that are comparatively economically backward, underdeveloped, under privileging d as well but the public authority has the most important role to explore untapped human resources in providing quality education for them that ultimately contribute to economic development at large. Various researches shows that public initiatives of education and health care have always significant impact on national economic development. For instance, Japan in Asia along with Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan are regarded most powerful economy not only in Asia but also in global scenario. Japan has an unique history of long traditions of public education and health care introduced since Meiji Restoration (1866-1869)- a political and social revolutions ushered in-in which public authority played critical role and Japan is rightly called as Economic Super Power of the East. In the later stage Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan made historic achievements in national economic development and again Public education and Health care systems and unflinching efforts to develop a highly accountable governing systems produce. The Communist regimes in Russia and in larger part of East European countries especially Czech Republic, Hungary, Ukraine, Estonia, Georgia, Moldova, Albania gained much momentum in their national economy due to active interference of public education and health care initiatives. In Asia, China and Vietnam have achieved tremendous development because of systematic national planning, well-designed implementation of education and health care programmes, solid accountability of public authority and practical approach to economic development had created huge pool of knowledgeable people to join the national mission of economic development. Within Asia, a small country, Vietnam, who fought many successful battles against super powers and virtually lost huge properties and human resources as well but within few decades it surpassed many giant Asian countries like India in terms of overall economic development due to lack of proper Government policies, programmes, lackadaisical attitude towards successive governments, degeneration accountability of public authority and remarkable negligence of public education and health pushed the country at the brink of collapse in terms of holistic development. India is lagging far behind Vietnam, Bangladesh and many small and very poor countries of Africa in terms of gender parity index, basic education and public health care. India’s constitution has attached great importance to education but has never ever think of national education programme to be fully managed and implemented by public authority, instead of that India has indulged in co-existence of public and private initiatives that have a huge negative impact on overall development process since independence. During ’80s and 90’s India faced biggest challenges in national economic development and after joining global economy, there was little improvement of the situation but again it was started collapsing due to considerable gaps in education policy, whims of political leadership and irrational policies deeply hurt national economy and during last six years this downward trends are very sharp as education and public health care policies have been dominated by sheer political and narrow sectarian interests. As per press reports, India has been facing one of the greatest and unprecedented crisis of her history due to extreme levels of state-sponsored political violence and killing of thousands of innocent people in the name of religion, suppression of all kinds of democratic movements, undeclared media censorship, capturing all public institutions that are unable to take independent decisions based on constitutional laws and rationalization of political violence in top academic institutions virtually robbed off all kinds of human freedoms and destruction of the spirits of educational institutions for learning.
    As a result India’s fate of development virtually hang on whims of dictatorial and authoritarian rule, where Indians are fighting with Indians, for the first time in history, Indians experiencing fire and fury of anti-semitism that once gripped Europe with the rise of Hitler and now this has again returned back. According to a renowned academic, “…This is the moment of anger where citizens refuse to take the government at its word; they are willing to tell the highest functionaries in the land that mere repetition of lie, backed by power, does not make something a truth” and argued that”…this anger is still a long way from reversing the shrinking of India. What constellation of political forces will be up to reversing a tide of communalization authoritarianism, economic stagnation, environmental depression, institutional decay with which we end the decade?” Today Indians asking such kinds of thousands of questions and plunge into a deep crisis that is seriously affecting national academic ambience at large. As a result, India’s future development is waiting to be doomed for an uncertain period of time. India’s reputation in the comity of nations always highly appreciated in different centuries since the ancient time with the message and teachings of Buddha, Tagore, Gandhi and who are regarded as apostle of peace and in the same land Indians experiencing unprecedented violence and tyranny of brutal political force every day that are being reflected in all media news and no one expecting such things in wilder imaginations.
    I have observed that very few international organizations are showing reasonable interests in education programme, rather providing quality education to the poorest of the poor has become an old fashion. International organizations whose main thrust area was providing quality education and health care are now phasing out their programmes globally. Then who will take this critical responsibility and thus the onus of the responsibility should lie with the public authority.
    So this is high time that Government should ponder seriously about taking active, impartial and holistic steps to ensure universal quality education for all cutting across gender, religion, class, caste and creed.


  6. Thanks to the UNESCO team for addressing this topic in the next GEM report. At the Center for Global Development, we are interested in exploring how various forms of public-private partnerships may be used to raise education quality and equalize opportunities for all children.

    This concept note rightly moves beyond ideological debates about the involvement of non-state actors to a focus on the current evidence behind non-state provision of good and services, financing and regulation. We hope that outcomes like quality and equity stay in focus in these discussions. It’s encouraging to see the intention to analyze policies in the context of broader societal impacts as well – for example, in how policies for early childhood care and education, a sub-sector dominated by non-state actors, impact working women and families.

    We’d also like to point out that, to the extent that impacts of non-state provision, costs and regulation of non-state actors are assessed, this should be done in comparison with government schools. Too often, criticisms are not made in light of what the practical alternatives are.

    Beyond direct provision, the concept note gives equal attention to the other myriad forms of non-state activity, like learning-related support services, textbook provision, education technology, and school meals. This will also be an important contribution; some degree of contracting out of ancillary services is done in almost every public education system in the world, but the design and accountability for this type of contracting is not well understood.

    We welcome the 2021 GEM report which will consolidate and update the evidence on the range of roles non-state actors have in global education.


  7. This is a very important topic, and “non-state actors” is a more pertinent choice than “private actors”.

    Neoliberal forces have brought many complications to the education sector, blurring the boundaries of the private and public. Public provision of education has seen an increasing role of non-state actors, while the market has become a handy tool for management of the public education.

    Our research in shadow education (private supplementary tutoring) over the last two decades has shown that non-state actors can bring diversity and flexibility to education systems. Shadow education offers a space for innovative curricula, pedagogies, leadership and partnerships to serve as engines for change and transformation in education and the society.

    However, these actors in the shadow education sector are not value free. Research into their practices reveals many complexities and controversies. Major issues relate to equity, children’s whole-person development, data and privacy protection, and geopolitics.

    It is timely for the 2021 GEM report to focus on non-state actors whose practices and impact have gone far ahead of scholarly and political attention.


  8. I am writing on behalf of the IDP Foundation, a non-profit philanthropic organization that supports individually owned low-fee private schools. These ‘mom & pop’ schools are owned by local community members and are a significant share of non-state actors in education. Their schools were started (in some cases as long as thirty years ago) as a grassroots response to the lack of schooling options in their local communities. Despite these efforts, individually owned low-fee private schools are frequently overlooked by national and global education stakeholders.

    These proprietors are often without a formal education themselves and by charging affordable fees, their schools are frequently bare-bones operations. However, proprietors are keenly aware that they will be held accountable by parents who expect their demands for a good school will be met – no matter how low the fees are. In order to do this, proprietors may need to improve their school’s physical infrastructure or learn the skills to manage a growing school. The IDP Foundation’s keystone initiative, the IDP Rising Schools Program (IDPRSP), offers local proprietors loans and training so that they can establish the basic conditions of providing a quality education, which includes structurally sound, well-run schools. We welcome partnerships for our unique education finance model and encourage others to include low-fee private schools among their own initiatives to improve education access and quality.

    To this end, the IDP Foundation has commissioned research to explore the scope and impact of low-fee private schools in Ghana (http://www.idpfoundation.org/idp-rising-schools/r4d-report-2016). Additionally, a forthcoming study explores the drivers of quality at public and private schools in Ghana’s Central Region. The initial findings indicate that learning levels at both public and private schools have significant room for improvement but given the comparatively high qualifications of public teachers, minimal inputs of in-service training at low-fee private schools could go a long way to raise learning outcomes.

    We fully support the 2021 GEM Report theme and urge the recognition of individually owned low-fee private schools among a measured examination of non-state actors in education.


  9. I am a member of the Asociación Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia (ACIJ) an organization based in Argentina, which works -among other subject areas- with inclusive education, focused on students with disabilities. Last year we worked on a background paper for UNESCO´s International Forum on inclusion and equity in education (held in Cali, Colombia), focused on the effects of the growth of private actors on inclusive education of persons with disabilities.
    From the reviewed literature we concluded that the involvement of private actors in the education systems (by different means) have certain implications that may negatively impact on the inclusive and equitable education of persons with disabilities with the possible outcome of increased stratification of education and the segregation of certain groups of students, including children with disabilities. You may find the paper in UNESCO´s digital library (https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000371031?posInSet=7&queryId=N-EXPLORE-6ebf735a-0bda-419c-8c99-274d76cb14ed). For further discussion regarding the findings of our research, we remain at your entire disposal at dsteinbrecher@acij.org.ar


  10. I am writing from Misean Cara, an Irish-based movement of 91 member organisations, all faith-based, who work to realise human rights in over 50 countries. Supported primarily by Irish Aid, our members work through delivery of basic services in education, health, livelihoods and income generation; promotion and protection of human rights; awareness-raising, community mobilisation and influencing for change.

    Reflecting on the Concept Note, we would point out that Misean Cara’s members engaged in education provision are focused on equitable access to good quality, holistic education, alongside education system strengthening, and are distinct from commercial non-state education providers in many ways – though falling under the broad label ‘non-state actors’.

    In addition, though our members involved in education are private and not-for-profit, that does not mean theirs is a ‘charity’ approach as referred to in a binary commercial/charitable distinction in the Concept Note, since they work hard to uphold the right to education for all – with a particular focus on people and groups who are marginalised in society.

    Our members urge that the GEM Report 2021 include and promote a nuanced discussion of the values, roles and merits of quite diverse non-state actors in education; and consider the differences between them in what may warrant quite separate discussions and recommendations around policy, practice, regulation, financing, accountability, innovation, etc.

    Misean Cara’s members involved in education provision also suggest that the 2021 GEM Report reflect the reality of enormous challenges to achieving SDG4 (globally and in many country and sub-national contexts); consider the requirements of partnerships that can progressively realise the right to education; and include the voices and concerns of people from marginalised and vulnerable groups – known to be ‘furthest behind’ or at risk of being left behind.

    We have submitted a longer paper setting out Misean Cara’s thoughts on the particularities of its faith-based education providers, their active engagement with public education systems, and their distinctiveness from commercial education providers, among other things. We hope that helps inform this important conversation on the role of non-state actors, and look forward to following the consultations and report findings.


  11. INEE (Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies) considers the 2021 GEM Report topic of non-state actors in education to be a timely topic given current thinking on Humanitarian-Development Coherence and the recent adoption of the Abidjan Principles. The provision and regulation of non-state actors in education is particularly important to consider for education in emergencies. In order to contribute to this report, INEE will conduct a virtual network-wide consultation to solicit feedback on key EiE questions in the spring of 2020.

    INEE also suggests inclusion of a background paper on the role of non-state actors in EiE. Overall, this paper should discuss the ways in which non-state actors can contribute positively to education in emergencies, especially in clearly defined times during which states themselves are not able to fulfil their own obligations. However, the paper must equally stress that non-state actors should be closely regulated (by the state or international community) and must not be allowed to permanently take over provision (thereby shifting the burden of responsibility) or ‘create their own markets’, nor merely channel public funding into private pockets. Some of data does suggest that private for-profit providers have improved learning outcomes but possibly at the expense of overall equity and in an unfair playing field, and this needs to be further highlighted and discussed. All approaches must be in accordance with international human rights and humanitarian law, especially the core obligation of the state to respect, protect, and fulfil. These obligations are clearly spelled out in the Abidjan Principles. In this regard, and in relation to emergencies, it is important to underscore that the Abidjan Principles apply in humanitarian as well as development contexts.

    As a supporting document, INEE plans to produce an advocacy brief on the role of private actors in education in emergencies, building on the Abidjan Principles, in the second quarter of 2020. INEE also encourages the GEM Report to consider the INEE Minimum Standards as an integral document guiding the provision and regulation of EiE in addition to other key resources. INEE stands ready to suggest additional papers for reference and to help shape a background paper on education in emergencies and non-state actors, in and beyond the Hum-Dev nexus, to inform the report.

    INEE looks forward to discussing these topics more in depth while supporting this exciting issue!


  12. The OIEC welcomes the fact that UNESCO, in the double logic of its concern for the participation of civil society in the democratic life of States and the follow-up to the Incheon Declaration, is looking into the participation of non-state actors from education to achieving SDG 4, but is surprised not to have been consulted (see note 1 page 2 of the concept note) on philanthropic activity in education, given the scale of its historical and geographic location.
     The OIEC fully subscribes to §86 of the Framework for Action, not only for practical reasons (“The objective cannot be achieved by governments alone”) but also for reasons of principle: the implementation of the real democracy cannot be entrusted only to governments, even if they are elected.
     With regard to the “public good” and “private good” controversy (page 3, column 2) the OIEC suggests the notion of “common good”, transcending a “private-public” partitioning which is not as tight as words can lead one to think so, including in states of impartiality. The concept note is particularly nuanced on this subject and does not hesitate to denounce the use for private purposes of a public good without concern for the common good (last paragraph of page 3).
     The adjectives “public” and “private”, used without nuance according to whether they qualify institutions, people, users, freeze ideologies, and make the “education” sector a sanctuary sector. For the good health of the debate it is necessary to keep in mind other sectors such as for example the health sector. In the clean education sector, the classic segments of education cannot be treated separately: elementary education, secondary education, higher education.
     The controversy “public education-private education” must go beyond the quality of the educational offer (page 4). Of course families move away from public education when it does not fulfill its promises but also, and the report should echo it, when the underlying ideology of state education aims to destroy the diversity of cultures and commitments. In clear terms, the possibility for civil society to act in the field of education is an essential aspect of democratic life which opposes hegemonic thought of the ecological respect for diversity in all its forms.
     The OIEC is in favor of a control on the activities and the private actors in the field of Education, led by an independent body.
     It is necessary to go beyond old visions on education to promote a new global educational pact, setting out new paradigms for education. Indeed, to change nothing in the understanding and the representation of the educational act would be deadly, because
     a) education consciously or unconsciously perpetuates the culture of competition and the saves that can
     b) corruption in all its forms undermines the education sector
     c) the ideology conveyed by the dominant ideology crushes all multiperspectivity.

     Here are the reflexive proposals on education for the 21st century which the OIEC promotes in its network of 210,000 schools worldwide
    1. One of the main difficulties encountered today in education is the diffuse tendency to deconstruct humanism. Individualism and consumerism generate competition which degrades cooperation, tarnishes common values and undermines the most basic rules of living together. Even the culture of indifference which involves relationships between people and people, as well as the care of the common home corrodes the sense of humanism.
    2. Rebuilding humanism also means directing educational work towards the peripheries, the social peripheries as well as the existential peripheries. Through service, meeting and welcoming, we offer opportunities to the weakest and most vulnerable. In this way, we grow together and mature by understanding the needs of “the other”. Thus, the educational community, through daily patient work, generates a broad inclusion which goes beyond the walls of a school and extends, with its capacity for transformation, to society as a whole, promoting meeting, peace and the reconciliation.
    3. Another danger that threatens the delicate task of education is the dictatorship of results. This dictatorship considers the person as an object, “a laboratory” and has no interest in its integral growth. She also ignores her difficulties, her mistakes, her fears, her dreams, her freedom. This approach – dictated by the logic of production and consumerism – mainly focuses on the economy and seems to want to equalize men and machines.
    4.To overcome this obstacle, we must place the person in his integrity at the center of educational action. To this end, the educator must be competent, qualified and, at the same time, rich in humanity, capable of mixing with the students in order to promote their human and spiritual growth. The educator must have a high quality education, as well as a capacity for loving attention and care for people. To achieve these two qualities, ongoing training is needed which can help teachers and administrators maintain a high level of professionalism and, at the same time, take care of their faith and spiritual motivations.

    5. Today, education should also face the obstacle of the so-called “rapidacion” which relegates existence in the vortex of speed, continuously changing the benchmarks. In this context, the identity itself loses its coherence and the psychological structure disintegrates in the face of a continuous transformation which “contrasts with the natural slowness of biological evolution”.

    6. To the chaos of speed, we must respond by giving back time its main factor, especially during the evolution from the age of infancy to adolescence. Indeed, the person needs his own calendar to be able to learn, consolidate and transform his knowledge. Finding time also means appreciating the silence and lingering to contemplate the beauty of creation, finding inspiration to protect our “common home” and developing initiatives aimed at offering new lifestyles while respecting future generations. . It is an act of responsibility for our posterity, for which we cannot remain indifferent.

    Proposed research axis:

     Creation in each country of a vigilance body on the education sector (Observatory), independent of the executive and the legislative.


  13. State and Non State collabortaions , adequately resources and funded by menans of mobilising local and global enterprises, philahtropy etc can provide solid and sustainable solutions to a number of challenges faced today in schools that are overpopukated and increasingly diverse. State systems alone do not have the flexibility or the funds or even the knowledge to do so. This is urgently needed which makes the purpose of this reasearch extremely useful.


  14. This is a very exciting topic and one much needed. It would be interesting to also look at the impact of international schools as non state institutions that operate in different countries. To wat extent do these actually contribute to increase quality education and influence state schools to more updated policies and approaches?


  15. Hello ! Since 1990, the organisation Gandhi Global Family is working in the conflict regions in India especially in Jammu & Kashmir. Today we have join hands with United Nations Dept of Global Communication New York for promoting SDGs and Mahatma Gandhi’s timeless messages among youth of the region.

    We are glad to learn about the latest opportunity initiated by the UNESCO. Hope we get the chance to engage maximum youth with UNESCO’s mission.


  16. New Horizons for a transformative educational model is a project funded by Misean Cara with its first pilot phase is implemented in 5 secondary schools in Malawi run by the Marist Brothers.
    The project is a multi-action initiative involving headmasters, teachers, school staff and parents.
    In Malawi, most of the focus in on the open school. This initiative has been introduced by the Malawian Government to respond to the needs of this out of school population: the number of secondary schools in the country cannot meet the growing need for education especially among the youthful population hence the initiative of introducing a second afternoon shift. Marist secondary schools in Malawi, originally private schools for boys only, undertook the initiative and opened school facilities to all members of the surrounding community, with lessons taking place either in afternoon or in evening time. Classes are open to everybody and students can use some of the infrastructures of the school: soccer or sport fields, laboratories, library, safe and gender-segregated latrines, access to safe drinking water and teaching and learning materials. School fees are reduced to an average of 60 USD per month. It is worth to mention that secondary school fees in Malawi are often not affordable for families without the assistance of scholarships. It is estimated that around 23 per cent of primary students and 39 per cent of secondary students drop out of school for financial reasons.
    This initiative is having a positive impact on girls: women and girls who continue to face multiple barriers based on gender, secondary education and to acquire skills needed for survival in life. Malawi has historically had one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with a 2015 study reporting that 50 per cent of girls are married before age 18. Girls are largely benefiting of this initiative and currently each school hosts an average of 400 girls.
    A short documentary on this initiative will be published soon on http://www.fmsi.org

    The New Horizons programme will be now extended to South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Angola: 21 schools in 6 African countries will be involved, with more than 20.000 children as direct beneficiaries of the programme. The project activities are aimed to reinforce equal opportunities, non-discrimination and universal access, paying special attention to the needs of learners who are at risk of social exclusion and marginalization.


  17. I am writing from UNESCOCAT, a Catalan NGO that works to bring UNESCO and Catalonia closer in all directions.

    In 2016, UNESCOCAT launched the Escola Nova 21 program, together with other promoting institutions: Fundació Jaume Bofill, EduCaixa – Fundació La Caixa, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), Diputació de Barcelona (partner incorporated in september 2016). That is to say, it was a civil alliance that gave start to the project.

    Escola Nova 21 aimed to catalyze and channel the movement for educational change through four related lines of action: (a) Generating and experimenting with protocols for intensive, system-wide change with a representative sample of 30 schools; (b) Engaging with some 500 schools through networks to collaboratively orientate them towards educational change; (c) Supporting and consolidating already existing reference schools and initiatives for innovation and transformation in the system; and (d) Building alliances with education administrations and local governments to develop co-responsibility for change.

    There were two parallel actions for school change throughout the three-year programme. First, the 30 Sample Schools, focused on applying an intensive change strategy that aims to generate protocols for system-wide transformation; and second, the close to 500 Schools in Networks, focused on orientation for change, through cooperative learning in local networks. The Sample Schools received significant support from programme staff, clinical training, and mentorship from the 25 Reference Schools that co-launched the Escola Nova 21 alliance. The Schools in Networks followed a process which was intended to raise awareness for the need for change and develop autonomy in their orientation to change processes.

    In both cases, schools reflected on the educational purpose, with teachers, families and children; created a new vision for their schools, based on the Advanced School Framework through their reflections on the educational purpose; and, established teams within each school to lead the transformation, referred to from hereon as the “driving teams”.

    To have more information, visit the website: https://www.escolanova21.cat/ or consult the paper: https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000367467


  18. People for Education is an NGO working with multiple partners inside and outside school systems in Canada to support and improve public education. Through research, convening cross-sector dialogue, policy analysis and public engagement we are focused on the future of education and the connection between public education and a fair and prosperous society.
    We’re very interested in the role of non-state actors in education and the importance of being aware of both the opportunities and risks when it comes to their influence.
    Our website is http://www.peopleforeducation.ca
    My email is annie@peopleforeducation.ca
    Twitter @anniekidder


  19. Very pleased to see this theme. Provision of education has always involved non-state actors, but they have tended to be eclipsed in the UNESCO and donor discourses. Especially important are themes on household expenditures and decision-making, alongside companies, NGOs and others.

    I applaud your concept note: very comprehensive and well-constructed.


  20. Hi,
    Being an educator I am using digital leads high tools and online learning set-ups for maximising learning outcomes of the students who are remotely located and hardly have such access in there schoool premises.


  21. As a compact city school in Johannesburg, South Africa, St James Prep offers parents and their young children the opportunity to explore an education that is rooted in the BIG, philosophical questions from the start, as early as age four. Our school motto of Truth Love Service expresses our highest purpose, which we actively strive to uphold in all that we do. Our APPROACH to teaching and learning is then shaped around the responses to these questions. For example, at St James we view the child as pure, perfect and complete from the outset, and that everything and everyone is interconnected, part of a single human family and creation. This guides us as we engage accordingly, by practicing a series of simple, practical and cumulative traditions such as philosophy classes, service to others as a way of life, regular pauses throughout the day, developing the power of attention, listening, reasoning, community and unity- building, Sanskrit classes, stillness in movement, initiation into mantra-based meditation, daily vegetarian meals and more practices of the same character. Traditions such as these combine powerfully in preparing the child and teacher for the historically more valued (exam and test-based) academic and extra-curricula programmes, as they help develop the child’s sense of Self (character and virtues) first, and then, quite naturally, the child’s sense of others and the world around them. This approach to a child’s education is game-changing in that it is timeless being rooted in the (enduring) inner work we all must do so that the outer work can be approached with greater clarity of vision, purpose and determination. In short, the St James approach to education prepares children for any “revolution,” not just the Fourth Industrial, as it is anchored steadfastly in the child (and staff) first knowing themselves. St James, Belgravia is linked to a group of associated international schools, dating back to the 1970s – the practices and traditions highlighted above have been at the heart of a St James education since that time, in keeping with the founder’s intent. They are not fads nor nice-to-haves. They represent everything that St James stands for.
    We’d love to make any contributions to your work that would strengthen the discovery and well being of others. Thank you.


  22. Since 2010, our organisation has been working with more than 1,100 schools in South Africa and have facilitated cross-sector collaboration in all these schools. We have mobilised more than 350 organisations to get involved to support these schools and would love to share what we have been doing. You may want to arrange an interview with members of our team?

    Our website: http://www.PfP4SA.org
    My email address: louise@symphonia.net


    1. The Initiative for Social and Economic Rights (ISER) welcomes UNESCO’s interest in the involvement of non-state actors in education. The SDG4 framework aims at leaving no one behind yet increasingly, many states are witnessing the rapid growth of privatization in education. ISER has done research https://iser-uganda.org/images/downloads/privatisation_discrimination_and_right_to_education.pdf with evidence of the discriminatory impact caused by the increased privatization in education in Uganda.

      Further research done by ISER https://iser-uganda.org/images/downloads/Threat_or_Opportunity_Public_Private_Partnership_in_Education_in_Uganda.pdf found significant evidence, which suggests that the Public Private Partnerships program implemented through Uganda’s Universal Secondary Education scheme may not be compliant with the human rights standards applicable to the right to education. Data collected illustrated that despite the overall increases in enrollment, equitable geographical access to education has not yet been achieved under the Public Private Partnership program.

      Further research by ISER https://iser-uganda.org/images/downloads/Policy_Brief_on_Accountability_by_PPPs.pdf interrogates the accountability framework for Public Private Partnership contracts in Uganda’s Universal Secondary Education (USE) policy implementation in terms of policy design, institutional set up and implementation practice. On the one hand, it addresses the question of whether the relevant government institutions have been accountable in ensuring a robust policy and supervision mechanism for Public Private Partnerships in Universal Secondary Education programme. On the other, it assesses the social and financial accountability practice in the implementation of Universal Secondary Education Public Private Partnerships. From the analysis, the policy brief discusses whether there can be effective accountability options for policy and practice regarding the current or future PPP arrangements in implementation of education projects in Uganda.

      The Parliament of Uganda instructed it’s education committee to examine the closure of private schools by the Ministry of Education and Sports. The Committee reported the appalling state of a number of private schools in the county and agreed that the Ministry was justifiable in closing some of them https://iser-uganda.org/images/downloads/Policy_Brief_on_Accountability_by_PPPs.pdf .

      The High Court in Uganda in the matter of ISER Vs AG, Civil Suit No. 353 of 2016 directed that government should take its lead position in regulating private involvement in education to ensure adherence to minimum standards – in doing so, it should make good use of the Abidjan Principles on the human rights obligations of states to provide public education and regulate private involvement in education to offer the necessary guidance https://iser-uganda.org/images/downloads/scan0020.pdf

      Liked by 1 person

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