To: South African Department of Education

Making the right to education a reality for everyone

Making the right to education a reality for everyone

Everyone has the right to free quality public education.To make the right to education a reality for everyone,

Government must:

• Subscribe to, ratify and implement the human rights treaties and optional protocols
• Commit to the full realisation and implementation of SDG4
• Invest in public education systems, according to international standards (at least 6% GNP, 20% public budget) and ensure that 3-5% is used for accommodations for students with disabilities.
• Raise the attractiveness of the teaching profession, ensuring that teachers have decent employment and working conditions, enjoy their full trade union rights (especially freedom of association and collective bargaining) and are well supported with quality initial and continuous professional training.
• Develop gender sensitive education sector plans, including a participatory monitoring and evaluation with civil society organisations.
• Provide a framework, allocated resources and planning for delivering education in context of emergencies, and to IDPS and migrants.
• Address exclusion and discrimination in curriculum, teaching and learning materials and school governance
• Foster children and youth participation as a key strategy for the education public policies
• Provide progressively free of charge public quality tertiary education, including university education.
• Foster the proper CSO monitoring mechanisms for increasing efficiency in spending of education budget and its proper utilisation.
• Ratify ILO Convention 138 on the Minimum Age for Employment, which stipulates that the permissible age of entry into employment "shall not be less than the age of completion of compulsory schooling and, in any case, shall not be less than 15 years.
• Provide a second chance to out-of-school children and child labourers, by implementing accelerated learning courses to mainstream them to their age-appropriate classes in the public education system.

Donor countries must:
• Increase their aid to education to at least 0.7% of their budget
• Support education programmes for migrants, IDPs and allow a greater part of their humanitarian aid to be allocated to education
• Support development programmes targeted at improving teachers' recruitment, training and wages; school infrastructures; and transports with the aim at providing education services to the most marginalised or vulnerable groups
• Work to harmonise the financing architecture and provide predictable and sustainable aid
• Withdraw support to profit making education providers
• Avoid loans as a development strategy for cooperation in education
• Condition their aid to the respect of fundamental human rights and International labour standards and strengthen the linkage between child labour and education applied in their policy framework.

Why is this important?

Education is a fundamental human rights, and is an enabler of all rights. Everyone, from the poorest to the richest, in every corner of the world, from the most remote areas to the heart of mega-cities, and every context, in a country at peace or torn by conflicts, and irrespective of their ethnic origin, gender, age or disabilities, everyone is entitled to claim that right.