Ei-iE

Fighting the commercialisation of education

Education is a human right and a public good that can be fully realised only through the provision of free, equitable, inclusive, quality public education. The growing commercialisation and privatisation in and of the sector is the greatest threat to the universal right to education.

Across the world, corporate interests are striving to transform all levels of education, from early childhood to higher education, into yet another market with winners and losers. As private-sector management models are applied to education institutions, employment conditions in the sector are being undermined. As low-fee, low-quality private schools expand rapidly, there is a risk that governments abrogate their responsibility to ensure the right to education for all. Unaccountable corporations have undue influence on education policies and institutions. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this trend which risks transforming education into a commodity, favouring profit over quality education.

As educators, we put students before profit. In 2015 we launched our Global Response to the Commercialisation and Privatisation of Education. Through this campaign, we work to expose and challenge the policies and practices of governments, intergovernmental organisations and international financial institutions which undermine public education and the rights and status of teachers and education support personnel. We also resist global corporate actors, especially education technology providers, who push the commercialisation and privatisation in and of education.

Our work in this area

  1. Opinion 1 November 2017

    #WDR2018 Reality Check #1: A Guide to Reading the Rhetoric

    Francine Menashy

    The 2018 World Development Report marks an important milestone—for the first time in 40 years the World Bank’s dominant research publication is dedicated to education.

    #WDR2018 Reality Check #1: A Guide to Reading the Rhetoric
  2. News 30 October 2017

    Francophone education unions assemble to improve the teaching profession

    After meeting in Dakar, the Board of the Comité Syndical Francophone pour l’Education et la Formation committed to promoting quality public education accessible to all, as well as increase vibrant and respected teacher trade unionism.

    Francophone education unions assemble to improve the teaching profession
  3. News 19 October 2017

    Australian disability claims boost private school funding at expense of public schools

    The Australian Education Union has questioned the government’s decision to considerably increase spending for private schools based on their enrolment numbers of disabled students, deploring that public schools are set to receive much less.

    Australian disability claims boost private school funding at expense of public schools
  4. Opinion 5 October 2017

    Celebrating World Teachers Day in Japan

    Yuuichiro Izumi

    Japan Teachers Union celebrated 70th anniversary this year. We have worked to improve the working conditions of educators as well as rights to education for children.

    Celebrating World Teachers Day in Japan
  5. News 29 September 2017

    Teachers’ voice is heard at Global Education Industry Summit

    Supported by a strong delegation, Education International joined more than a hundred representatives from government, industry and the OECD for the third Global Education Industry Summit in Luxembourg.

    Teachers’ voice is heard at Global Education Industry Summit
  6. News 7 September 2017

    The Liberian Government's school privatisation program exposed

    A leaked copy of the Government commissioned report investigating the Partnership Schools for Liberia programme has concluded that it cannot work “with sustainable budgets and staffing levels, and without negative side effects on other schools.”

    The Liberian Government's school privatisation program exposed
  7. Publications and Research 10 August 2017

    We The Educators

    The objective of this literature review was exploratory in nature, and because of the depth of the literature (both academic and non-academic) available on standardisation, personalisation and privatisation, this review focuses primarily on scholarly articles and books published in the past decade.

    We The Educators
  8. News 4 August 2017

    India: unions oppose privatisation of schools

    Unions have voiced their strong opposition to the memorandum of understanding between public authorities and private education providers during a public forum against the privatisation of education in Hyderabad, India.

    India: unions oppose privatisation of schools
  9. News 31 July 2017

    Liberia: civil society rejects privatisation project

    Unions and civil society organisations have warned about the devastating effects of the privatisation of education on both students and teachers during the launch of a new study on Liberia’s PSL project.

    Liberia: civil society rejects privatisation project
  10. News 4 July 2017

    America’s largest teachers’ union faces down Trump administration over charter schools

    The National Education Association will not meet with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos until she answers simple questions about her commitment to accountability and transparency for charter schools and to protecting America’s most vulnerable students.

    America’s largest teachers’ union faces down Trump administration over charter schools