The Privatization of Education: A Political Economy of Global Education Reform
Education privatization is a global phenomenon that crystallizes in countries with very different cultural, political, and economic backgrounds. In this book, the authors examine how privatization policies are being adopted and why so many countries are engaging in this type of education reform. The authors explore the contexts, key personnel, and policy initiatives that explain the worldwide advance of the private sector in education, and identify six different paths toward education privatization--as a drastic state sector reform (e.g., Chile, the U.K.), as an incremental reform (e.g., the U.S.A.), in social-democratic welfare states, historical public-private partnerships (e.g., Netherlands, Spain), de facto privatization in low-income countries, and privatization via disaster.
Schooling the Poor Profitably - the Innovations and Deprivations of BIA in Uganda
This study investigates the operations of Bridge International Academies in Uganda where it has established 63 private for-profit schools, since February 2015, with an estimated 12,000 fee-paying customers.
It has found that the company’s profit-driven, cost-cutting, standardised, and internet-based approach to education delivery involves a number of critical shortcomings. These include the (1) neglect of legal and educational standards established by the Government of Uganda regarding the use of certified teachers, accredited curriculum, appropriate teaching methods, adequate school facilities, and proper authorisation of schools, essentially infringing upon the integrity and sovereignty of the education system in Uganda; (2) strict automation and mechanisation of all curriculum and pedagogy, involving scripted instructions readout from tablet computers (or ‘teacher-computers’) by predominantly unlicensed and underpaid teachers, which obstruct the very teacher-pupil relations that are conducive to learning and child development; and (3) failure to bring affordable, quality education for all as the company claims. Hence, this research provides a cautionary case study for policy makers, administrators, investors, teachers, parents, civil society, and the international community at large, for understanding what is at stake when new global corporate actors aim at schooling the world’s poor, profitably.
ETUCE reports on the “State of Funding in Education, Teachers’ working conditions and Trade union actions, Social dialogue and Collective bargaining” in Europe
The EI European region, ETUCE, has released 2 Survey Reports on the “State of Funding in Education, Teachers’ working conditions and Trade union actions, Social dialogue and Collective bargaining” in Central and Eastern European countries and in Western European countries. The reports are a comprehensive ‘state of play’ which combines the outcomes of eight years of economic crisis and fiscal consolidation measures on public finance of education systems, teachers’ working conditions, the role of teacher unions, and the major trends in social dialogue and collective bargaining. The analysis is based on responses from 65 member organisations in 39 European countries (23 being EU countries).
It reveals that the impact of austerity programmes is, for the most part, not over and that education budgets remain under pressure, affecting salaries and benefits of education workers, their working conditions and the availability and quality of training and professional development. It also shows that national reforms have led to increased privatisation, especially in Central and Eastern european countries, which experienced a rise in the number of privately-funded education institutions, especially in early childhood and higher education.
Briefing: The potential impacts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on education
This briefing note looks into the potential impacts of the TPP for the education sector based on the text released on 5 November 2015.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a comprehensive trade and investment agreement covering 40% of the global economy. The TPP was concluded on 5th October 2015 after more than 5 years of secret negotiations. The following countries are involved: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States and Vietnam.
Teachers Assessing Education For All - Perspectives From the Classroom
This report collates the outcomes of a global effort to engage teachers and education support personnel in a critical reflection on the EFA movement and goals. It shares the experiences and perspectives of a diverse group of professionals, working in very different contexts around the world, who share one common goal: delivering quality education for all. It aims to capture the essence of the rich consultations and focus groups’ discussions held with EI member organisations from 63 countries and share the views of 13,500 teachers and education support personnel surveyed. As the voice of education workers worldwide, EI considers it essential to draw on their expertise and experience in order to contribute to shaping the future of EFA.
Bridge vs. Reality: a study of Bridge International Academies’ for-profit schooling in Kenya
Bridge International Academies (BIA) is a large and expanding business that provides for-profit private education in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria and India. With support and investment coming from global edubusiness Pearson, the World Bank, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and high profile actors such as Mark Zuckerberg and the Gates Foundation, the claims that BIA makes regarding its services are impressive, portraying the company as providing a magic bullet solution to educational inequalities and a high quality alternative to insufficient and inadequate government provision (Bridge International Academies, 2016b)1. Focusing on BIA’s operations in Kenya, this study seeks to monitor these claims by uncovering the extent to which they reflect the situation on-the-ground.
Profiting from the Poor: The Emergence of Multinational Edu-Businesses in Hyderabad, India
The report co-authored by Kamat S., Spreen C.A. and Jonnalagadda I. lays out the broad underpinnings of the corporate interests in for-profit education and how these efforts undermine public education as a fundamental human right. It provides a detailed understanding of how the commercialisation of education through scalable chains of schools and selling educational products and services unfolds on the ground in Hyderabad. This study of the expansive and growing private education sector in India revealed a complex well-networked assemblage of global actors that are invested in the business of education privatisation and who stand to make a considerable profit from it. Two actors that stand out as having launched the low-fee private schools (lfps) ‘movement’ in India are James Tooley (professor of education policy at Newcastle University, uk) and the global corporation, Pearson. This report critically assesses these multinational actors’ claims to make schooling for the poor profitable while simultaneously promising quality education. It demonstrates that, despite expectations, the schools have not been profitable and they have also failed to deliver anything close to quality education.
The World Bank’s Doublespeak on Teachers – An analysis of 10 years
During the last few decades, the World Bank has become a central actor in shaping the global education policy agenda and is increasingly involved in education to the point of becoming the largest supplier of external funding to the sector. Its growing capacity to shape policy goes far beyond its lending activity and involves a signi cant “ideational” power also in uencing educational issues such learning outcomes, education quality and teacher related issues.
This review of the World Bank’s activity around teachers in the last ten years reveals a significant disconnection between, on the one hand, the policy preferences that predominate in the Bank’s publications on teachers and, on the other hand, the teachers’ related policies that the Bank effectively supports through its lending operations.
Corporatised education in the Philippines: Pearson, Ayala Corporation and the emergence of Affordable Private Education Centers (APEC)
This paper examines how, why, and with what consequences, corporate-led privatisations in Philippine education are taking shape, through an analysis of Affordable Private Education Centers (APEC). APEC is a for-profit chain of low-fee private schools (LFPS) established through a joint venture between two major multinational corporations, Pearson Plc and the Ayala Group. With the implementation of the new “K-12” system the Department of Education (DepED) plans to grow public-private partnerships and the education services industry in the Philippines so that private enterprise can expand private high school provision and help absorb excess demand. APEC, and its shareholders, plan to capitalise on this situation through its corporately owned and managed chain of for-profit high schools that aim to serve “economically disadvantaged” Filipino youth who are charged nominally “low-fees.”
The edu-business model implemented by APEC involves a number of cost-cutting techniques designed to minimise production costs, while increasing rates of profitability, which have had undesirable effects on teaching and learning. APEC also aims to (re)produce the human labour required by Ayala and other multinational companies by aligning its educational services with the labour needs of industry. By “reverse-engineering” its curriculum, APEC intends to produce graduates of a particular disposition with specific skills, values, and knowledge that can be employed in the global labour market. In particular, APEC intends to address the skill shortage in business process outsourcing (BPO) and call center industries in the Philippines.
This report aims to contribute to global debates regarding low-fee private schools as well as corporate involvement and infuence in efforts to expand access to education.
Creating a Supportive Working Environment in European Higher Education
In this study, academics across nine countries in Europe identified a number of key issues that impacted upon their working environment. These included the impact of decreased funding; the difficulties experienced in forming supportive relationships; negative experiences of academic life in the initial years; a deterioration in working conditions; the challenges posed by the Bologna Process; the changing demands of the teaching and research roles; their lack of influence and their non-involvement in decision-making processes within their institutions.
Global Trends in TVET: a framework for social justice
This report commissioned by Education International provides a conceptual framework to understand how vocational education is positioned in many countries, and the different ways in which the relationship between vocational education and the structures of the labour market mediate the variable outcomes that vocational education graduates achieve. It demonstrates the unequal access to vocational education in low, medium and high income countries. The report uses the capabilities framework as developed by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum to underpin the notion of ‘productive capabilities’ in developing a conceptual basis for vocational education that supports social justice. It argues that strong public vocational education institutions are the anchor institutions of their communities that can support vocational education teachers in contributing to local social, economic and cultural development. It suggests a program of research for Education International in providing better understandings of vocational education in different contexts, to support Education International in working with social partners to strengthen vocational education’s role in developing inclusive and tolerant societies based on socially just and sustainable economic and social development.
Human Rights and Values in Education
This paper was developed to provide context and background for the Education International Baltic Symposium on Human Rights and Values in Education which took place from 7 to 8 June 2016 in Riga, Latvia.
It is structured in two parts. The first part explores what we mean by human rights education. It presents the normative basis for human rights education, including laws, standards and policies on education for human rights and democratic citizenship at international and regional levels.
The second part examines the implications and application of human rights education, or a rights based approach to education, in principle and practice, focusing on the following specific areas: teacher training, professional development and support; teaching and learning practices and processes; inclusive curriculums and a whole school approach to human rights.
The appendices include a list of key international and regional institutions and organizations that have developed and implemented policies and programmes for human rights education, and the Education International resolution on the promotion and protection of standards and values in the world.
Discussion Paper: Value-added measurement or modelling (VAM)
This discussion paper reviews the policy instrument of value-added measurement or modelling (VAM) and the implications the instrument has for teaching and learning
in a global context. VAM is based on the assumption that it is possible to create adequately complex statistical models that capture the essential and universal factors in what makes some schools and teachers more effective than others without sacrificing the complexity of education, teaching and learning.
The paper unfolds the debates and critique raised against VAM. After a brief account of the origins, basic ideas and current use of VAM globally, four particular concerns related to VAM are discussed: 1/a technical critique of the statistical modelling underlying VAM; 2/a broader critique on the constitutive e ects of VAM on education and its objectives; 3/the sidelining of teachers in the debate on evaluation of school and teacher performance; and 4/the promotion of VAM by private enterprises and major development agencies in low- and middle income countries.
The reductionism of VAM has proved to have some appeal as a simple solution to fix complex realities. Teacher unions should be aware of the characteristics of the policy instrument. In particular, education systems in low-income countries might prove vulnerable in the coming years as international donors and for-profit enterprises appear to be endorsing VAM as a means to raise school and teacher quality in spite of the lack of evidence and the extensive critique raised against the instrument.
Privatisation in Early Childhood Education (PECE) - An Explorative Study on Impacts and Implications
This explorative study reveals a global trend towards increasing privatisation in Early Childhood Education (ECE), threatening to overshadow public ECE. Based on a qualitative inquiry targeting ECE practitioners and union representatives in 14 countries, it gathers practice-based evidence of the impact of privatisation in Early Childhood Education (ECE) on a variety of aspects such as access to ECE, quality of education, equity and conditions of service for teaching and support staff. The outcomes of the research and the recommendations formulated by the authors can pave the way for EI, its affiliates and partners’ advocacy for public provision of ECE and the need to regulate the private ECE sector.
The Status of Teachers and the Teaching Profession
This report is based on an extensive survey (responses from 73 Education International (EI) member organisations from all regions). It reveals the threats to the status of teachers from misguided “reforms” leading to precarious working conditions for teachers and education workers and curbing teachers' professional development, professional autonomy, social dialogue, and involvement in decision-making. Given the intimate relationship between teaching conditions and learning conditions; those same threats endanger the provision of quality education and education as a public good.