Privatisation in Education

In the last decade, policies that involve some level of education privatisation, including public-private partnerships (PPPs), vouchers and “low-fee” private schools, have become increasingly prominent in global education debates and policies. The urgent need to achieve the Education For All goals and the MDGs, as well as the effects of the financial crisis worldwide, has made governments and international organisations more willing to introduce different forms of education privatisation.  At the same time, the private sector is increasingly targeting public education systems as profitable markets, seeing business (and profit) opportunities through the sale of textbooks, consultancies, ICT technologies, teacher training, evaluation systems, tests, etc. This new push for private sector engagement in education is arguably shrinking the space for public processes of policy making and debate, sidelining citizens as the key drivers of policy while private corporations and organisations become more dominant.

Many national coalitions within the GCE membership are reporting negative effects of privatisation and public-private partnerships, especially in terms of the impact on equality and the promotion of an education consistent with human rights and the public good. The growth of privatisation is also recognized as a human rights concern internationally.

For example, read the latest Report on Privatisation from the UN Special Rapporteur on Education (Sept 2014)

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