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‘Non-state Actors in Education: Who Chooses Who Loses’

Education is facing a global crisis: equality must be at the centre of COVID-19 reconstruction

The COVID-19 crisis has profoundly affected education systems across the world. School closures in over 190 countries  have laid bare inequalities in education, deficiencies in remote learning, discrimination against girls, a resurgence of child labour, as well exposing millions of children to threats to their health and safety. Governments around the world urgently need to rebuild their education systems to ensure that no one gets left behind.

Speaking at the Irish launch of the annual UNESCO Global Education Monitoring report, Aidan Clifford, Chairperson of the Irish Forum for Global Education, underlined that education is facing a crossroads in many developing countries as governments look around for alternative models of provision. Increasingly, non-state actors ranging from faith-based institutions to global corporations, are meeting the demand but, in turn, this raises questions about equity, accountability, standards.

The challenge for many education systems is to maintain the correct balance between equity and freedom of choice; professional autonomy of teachers and accountability; financing and transparency. These issues are relevant not just in the developing south where education systems are collapsing in many states but also have a strong resonance for us in Ireland.

This UNESCO report provides strong lessons on how countries identify and address competing demands on education while ensuring equality, effectiveness, management and accountability. School fees and rising costs of education are impacting on families all over the world. Global goals for sustainable development will simply not be reached if education is neglected by governments.

Misean Cara Response to GEM Report

IFGE was asked by GEM UNESCO to commission a blog to mark the Irish launch webinar. Misean Cara, an IFGE member organisation was requested to respond to the GEM report. Read the blog by Eamonn Casey, Misean Cara, Human Rights and Advocacy Officer here: What do missionaries make of the latest GEM Report on non-state actors in education? – World Education Blog (