RESULTS to Develop Global Right to Education Index

March 16, 2015
by William C. Smith, RTEI Senior Associate

Across the world nearly 60 million children remain out of school and nearly a quarter of a billion are not completing primary education with the necessary skills to be a functionally literate member of society. The right to education for these children has been denied.

The global right to education, first put forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, became part of the binding international human rights framework in 1976 as articles 13 and 14 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). Strengthened through the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), the right to education identifies the specific requirements of States to respect, protect, and fulfill the rights of their citizens. The CRC in the four As include availability, accessibility, acceptability, and adaptability. Indicators on governance and the 4 As are to be developed and constructed in such a way as to yield an overall result which can be compared across countries. Additionally, sub-sections of the RTEI will provide valuable information that can guide national level practices in areas such as: gender discrimination, public vs. private provision of education, resource allocation, and a host of other topics.

As the creation of the RTEI is still in its formative stage we welcome feedback from the larger community. We are presently completing an initial draft of the questionnaire and hope to have an open consultation with interested parties over the coming month. In addition to developing the questionnaire, additional tools to aid in understanding, interpreting, and applying the RTEI will be forthcoming including an analytical framework which will provide potential perspectives for analysis and investigation and a technical manual that outlines how the RTEI was created and calculated. We anticipate completing a five-country pilot of the RTEI during 2015 as a trial phase for what is to become a global index that provides political pressure on countries, solidifies the right to education, and improves the quality of life for children around the globe.

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