The Oxford Human Rights Hub and the Open Society Foundations are excited to be hosting a participative and interactive online workshop exploring the challenges of public and private partnerships in realising the right to education. Public private partnerships are an increasing phenomenon in the field of education. The growing influence of a market model of private education, particularly in providing low-fee schools, has challenged the traditional understanding of education as a public good. This brings with it the risk that the State will abdicate its public responsibilities, and education will be viewed as a market commodity. This raises the question of how to retain the fundamental nature of the right to education as a societal or public good, rather than a private good.
The aim of this online consultation is to develop a human rights understanding in relation to several crucial issues raised by public-private partnerships. The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Mr Kishore Singh, will be participating in the online workshop and use the workshop discussions as a resource for his annual report to be submitted to the UN General Assembly in September 2015.
The online workshop will investigate three key questions: (1) What is the role of law in structuring a PPP and in conceptualising the purpose of education? (2) How can the state and private providers be held accountable for both quality in education and against corruption? (3) What enforceability measures are needed to hold actors in public-private partnerships accountable?
The workshop will be conducted online. There will be a ‘live base’ at the Oxford Human Rights Hub in Oxford, with allocated experts from around the globe and an audience participating ‘virtually’ from around the globe. On the day of the workshop the experts and a live virtual audience sign into allocated software hosting the workshop. The expert speakers will prepare pre-recorded videos which will play in succession. Participants will be able to pose comments and ask questions of the experts during the question and answer session.