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“The right to education must remain the foundation for advancing the Education for All agenda” – UN expert

GENEVA (23 November 2012) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Kishore Singh, today called on world governments to ensure that the right to education guides their efforts to meet the Education for All* objectives of providing quality basic education to all children, youths and adults by 2015.

“We must make sure not just that an ever greater number of students gain access to primary education, but that governments ensure education is an enforceable right for their citizens, is of high quality, and provided equally without discrimination,” Mr. Singh said following the first UNESCO-led Global Education for All Meeting in Paris.

“We must take full care that the learning crisis is not prolonged,” the UN expert stressed. Referring to his 2012 report to the UN General Assembly on technical and vocational education and training (TVET) from a right to education perspective, the Special Rapporteur emphasized that quality imperatives are inextricably linked with TVET, which is emerging as an area of critical importance in education and learning.

The Education for All initiative provides a framework for governments to accelerate progress for meeting EFA goals by 2015. “The right to education means more than just being able to attend school,” the UN expert said. “Increasing access without ensuring the quality of teachers, curricula and schools will not improve our societies. We must also ensure schools are accessible for all students, including women, rural or economically disadvantaged students.”

The Special Rapporteur called on governments to enact legislation to ensure minimum quality standards are set for teachers and educational curricula, and to address inequalities in education, particularly for girls, minorities and poor children. “States must take their international legal obligations seriously, and must ensure that their domestic legislation meets such obligations,” he added.

Kishore Singh (India), the Special Rapporteur on the right to education since August 2010, is a professor specialized in international law, who has worked for many years with UNESCO for the promotion of the right to education, and advised a number of international, regional and national bodies on right to education issues. Throughout his career, Mr. Singh has supported the development of the right to education in its various dimensions and worked to promote better understanding of this right as an internationally recognized right. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Education/SREducation/Pages/SREducationIndex.aspx

(*) Education for All: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/education/themes/leading-the-international-agenda/education-for-all/

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