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. News 22 February 2018

    Kenya: Bridge loses court case

    The High Court of Kenya in Nairobi has dismissed a complaint of Bridge Academies against the education union KNUT and its General Secretary Wilson Sossion, taking a stand for the defense of quality education.

    Kenya: Bridge loses court case
  2. News 8 February 2018

    Uganda: unlicensed schools continue to operate, defying Government’s decision

    The battle between the private school chain Bridge International Academies and the Ugandan authorities is far from over as the company continues to operate its schools despite government warnings to comply with minimum standards.

    Uganda: unlicensed schools continue to operate, defying Government’s decision
  3. Opinion 5 December 2017

    #WDR2018 Reality Check #6: “A sceptic’s review” by Prachi Srivastava

    Prachi Srivastava

    When the World Bank announced that the 2018 World Development Report (WDR) would be on education, I was sceptical. I’m not denying the Bank’s research expertise. It devotes substantial money and staff and has a trove of reports that are accessible in the public domain. It’s also open to criticism...

    #WDR2018 Reality Check #6: “A sceptic’s review” by Prachi Srivastava
  4. News 27 November 2017

    Mauritania: teacher unions united in call to save the national education system

    Faced with the chronic shortage of teachers in the country, the use of contract teachers and an increasing privatisation in education, the trade unions have called on public authorities to urgently remedy the situation and parents to mobilise to save the national education system.

    Mauritania: teacher unions united in call to save the national education system
  5. News 21 November 2017

    Cease funding Bridge International Academies, says British parliamentary committee

    A report released today by the International development Committee of the British House of Commons questions the investment made by the UK in low-cost private school chain Bridge International Academies because of major issues related to access and quality in education.

    Cease funding Bridge International Academies, says British parliamentary committee
  6. 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
  7. 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