Civil society organizations support a Tax Reform for the defense of the Human Rights

Civil society organizations support a Tax Reform for the defense of the Human Rights

  • Posted: Jun 30, 2015 -
  • By: -

This entry has been written by Ana Vázquez Ponzone, from the Public Affais Programme of International Federation Fe y Alegría.

The International Federation Fe y Alegría and Centro Bonó from Dominican Republican both belonging to the Society of Jesus, have signed the Lima Declaration on tax justice and human rights, joining other organizations from the civil society engaged in the progress of tax justice through human rights, and the realization of human rights through tax justice.

We think that the right to education for everyone is possible and fundamental so other rights can be exercised and we can pursue the sustainable development. But, for the right to education and other rights to be a reality a fair tax system is needed, tax revenue is the most important, the most reliable and the most sustainable instrument to resource human rights in sufficient, equitable and accountable ways.

The realization of all human rights, likewise, is a core raison d’être of government. It is through respecting, protecting and fulfilling civil, political, economic, social, cultural and environmental rights that the state earns its legitimacy to tax. Taxation also plays a fundamental role in redistributing resources in ways that can prevent and redress gender, economic and other inequalities and reduce the disparities in human rights enjoyment that flow from them.

The Declaration makes several calls. To governments, they are asked to evaluate the impact of human rights and equity in their tax regulations; to international institutions to reform the broken world tax system through the integration of human rights standards in the way they face corporate tax evasion and the adverse collateral effects of tax policies of some governments on others- among other measures; to the human rights community to actively test how tax practice affect their mission and to build capacities and practice to promote tax justice in their work; and last, to communities from tax justice and development in general, to incorporate human rights focus in their research and advocacy strategies, to make use of the rules and values of accountability of human rights in the search of a tax justice and a sustainable development.

One of the most urgent challenges in 2015, when the world goals for the next 15 years are being designed and agreed, is to guarantee the material means for the compliance of human rights, among them, the right to long-life quality education for everyone as it reflects ODS number 4 “Guarantee an inclusive, equitable, quality education and promote long-life learning opportunities for everyone”.

From Fe y Alegría, we support with our signatures the Lima Declaration on Tax Justice and Human Rights. Will you join too?

Sign up and share it!

Education in emergencies is “the Cinderella” of the international aid

Education in emergencies is “the Cinderella” of the international aid

  • Posted: Jun 20, 2015 -
  • By: -

In a global context where humanitarian crisis get longer with time at the same time that new armed conflicts arise, refugeed and displaced people numbers increase and are higher than those there used to be after the Second World War.  The Jesuit Refugee Service and other jesuit cooperation organizations such as the ones joining the Xavier Net, are engaged in the promotion of the Right to Education in the most vulnerable situations not only for children but also for youngsters and adults.

In addition to 25 million internal refugee and displaced children, there are 230 million children who live in countries and zones afected by armed conflicts currently. In fact, as UNESCO points out, out of the 58 million children of the world out of primary school, half of them live in countries facing armed conflicts. Of the total of children refuegeed or internally displaced, more than 36 per cent have no access to school. This percentage reaches the 87 in arabic countries, as consequence of the harsh results of the sirian conflict. From 4,8 million sirian children in schooling age, aproximately 2,2 million are out of school inside their home country. Two thirds of sirian refugees (about 500.000 children) have neither access to school. In the last decade, there has been a big increase of violence against schools, students and teachers, above all in Afganistan, Iraq, Nigeria and palestinian territories, Siria and South Sudan as The Global Coalition to protect Education from Attacks claims. The truth is that in many countries, going to school has become a high risk activity in which children fear for their lives. The case of Malala Yusafzai, the young activist for Paquistan who was shot by the taliban coming back from school is not, unfortunately, an isolated case.

It is obvious that armed conflicts have a very negative impact in lives and education of children. In the short term, because in addition to the terrible cost in human lives, they cause fear, insecurity, teachers and students absenteeism, lack of continuity in classes and loss or destruction of materials and infraesctructures. In the long term, because they damage the educative system of the country and because whole generations have the risk of not accessing to quality education.

On the other side, the right to education open doors to other rights. It promotes learning opportunities and recreation, it offers rutine, stability and sets the sight in the future. This becomes specially important in situations where daily survival stands on the way of looking up further than present time. In violent or conflict situations, education can urge on the existing hostilities or, on the contrary, it can play a decissive role in the promotion of peace culture, promoting tolerance, inclussion, respect values.

Education in emergencies and conflicts, however, is the Cinderella of the aid, getting only 2 per cent of the humanitarian emborsement. Education doesn’t seem as important as settlement, food or sanitary means tat are considered to “save lives”. It is urgent to revert this situation since, as Gordon Brown, special relator of United Nations for the right to education acknowledged “You can live 40 days without food, 8 days without water and 8 minutes without air, but you cannot live one second without hope. Education gives hope of a better future even in the most adverse situations.”

That is why in 2015, a year where the new educative and development agendas will be set, we must redouble efforts to make education a priority and the right to quality education also in conflict and emergency situations be guaranteed for every child.


This  post is t e translation of an extract from the article written by Valeria Méndez de Vigo from the jesuit NGO Entreculturas and published under the title “El impacto de los conflictos en la educación de niños y niñas.” The complete article in Spanish:

Equality in the education agenda towards 2030

Equality in the education agenda towards 2030

  • Posted: Jun 15, 2015 -
  • By: -

This post has been written by Macarena Romero, from the Public Affairs and Advocacy Programme, International Federation Fe y Alegría.

Goal number 5 in EFA Report pointed out already in 2000 directly towards “erasing disparities between genders in primary and secondary school from now to 2005 and achieve before 2015 equality between gender education realted, particularly guarateeing girls a whole equitable access to quality basic education, as well as good performance.” Since the World Education Forum in 2000 in Dakar, Senegal, progresses made towards equity among gender in primary education have been uneven.  From the 145 countries on which there were information available, less than half of them, 43% have reached gender equality in primary and secondary enrollment, or it is likely be achieved in 2015.  Just a little bit more than one fourth part, the 27% is likely to achieve equality in primary education, but not in secondary school. Among the achievements, we must highlight three; disparities are decreasing between gender in secondary school. Now, out of 133 countries, there are 19 countries, above all in the Occidental and Meridional Asia, with less than 90 scholarized girls for every 100 boys compared to 30 countries there were in 1999. If we speak in legislative terms, in 40 of the 59 states members that responded it is strictly referenced in their bills and educative laws to guarantee the right to education to women. Efforts made show, above all, in women training to be teachers, that has increased in , for example, Nepal, 19% the promotion internationally of many relevant activists for the education of girls and national subsidies programmes in many countries have also helped focus in increasing the number of girls who enroll in schools.

On the right of the shadows, they persist mainly access problems to education of girls due to issues related to child marriage and teenager pregnancies as well as sexist violence (physical, sexual and psicological) in the schools properly, which, added to the difficulties to measure real equality in gender in schools. Progresses have been uneven, because those who are the poorest girls have least chances to get schoolarized. For example, in Pakistan, less than 70 girls for every 100 boys have been to school at some point.  Furthermore, it is alarming how disparities increase in gender in male and female youngsters in Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as in some of the poorest countries like Myanmar, Bangladesh or Rwanda.

Looking towards 2030, the international community and the education sector of the civil society has effectively included as Goal number 4 (out of 27) in the Sustainable Development Goals agenda “guarantee an equitable, inclussive quality education and promote longlife learning opportunities for everyone” highlighting the adjective inclusion and equitable as a sinequanone requirement to achieve the real and effective education for all we pursue. Therefore, gender under a magnifying glass becomes an inalienable framework to work from if inequlities in the access to education wants to be really eased that historically have been the founding walls of the educative structures in more countries than we mus allow ourselves. The word inclusion, must, unreservedly, turn into a real acknowledgment of women as rights generator engines.

Quality education, key for the education Sustainable Development Goals Agenda

Quality education, key for the education Sustainable Development Goals Agenda

  • Posted: Jun 03, 2015 -
  • By: -

This post has been written by Lucía Rodríguez Pajarón, from Fundación Entreculturas, Fe y Alegría, Spain.

We keep analyzing the objectives of the EFA Report, and so much more after such an important week for the right to education in which the World Education Forum in Korea, where the objectives for 2020 have been defined, has been celebrated.
The sixth goal set in Dakar refers to the quality of education and aims to improve all aspects of the quality of education ensuring the highest parameters, in order to get recognized and measurable learning results, especially in literacy, numeracy and basic skills.
Since the conclusion of the Dakar Forum, there have many achievements: in terms of the level of primary education, the student/teacher ratio has decreased in 121 of the 146 countries which available data; the number of national assessments to measure student achievement has also increased; and specific programs of social protection for education of both children and adults have also been developed. However, much remains to be done, as evidenced by the position paper of the Society of Jesus: “The quality of education remains a huge challenge, with ineffective education systems, poorly paid teachers, dilapidated infrastructure, little relevant content to large sections of the population, vertical and transmissionist pedagogical practices, very high dropout levels and millions of students finishing primary school without minimum capabilities to survive in a globalized world “.Report_cards_En_6_cut

One of the most difficult goals to achieve is, undoubtedly, the training of teachers. Governments need to improve the availability and distribution of teachers and it is essential that they are well distributed and motivated. New and more attractive plans to struggle with career faculty shortages are needed, as this remains a serious problem. Furthermore, there is not only a shortage of teachers in general, but also a shortage of trained teachers. Many countries have rapidly increased the number of teachers to combat the negative statistics by hiring people who did not have the right qualifications. Decreasing the pupil / teacher ratio is not enough, if the person in charge of the students does not have sufficient qualifications to provide such students with the necessary basic knowledge, it is useless.
Along with this problem, we find others which have not been solved either and can be observed in the following chart:


What we need to consider from now on is what lines of action should be defined in order to overcome these bumps in the progress, while taking into account all relevant variables when it comes to fighting for the quality of education. We cannot relax thinking everything is solved, much remains to be done and the quality of education is essential for every human being.
In the final declaration of Incheon, after the World Education Forum the importance of quality education has been once again highlighted. While it is true that in Dakar its role was not entirely reflected, in Korea, the term quality has been repeated many times and it seems that from now until 2020, the society will make further efforts to achieve it. Not only the quality of education at all levels and the quality of teachers have been highlighted, but also the importance of the quality of educational opportunities has been defined, which is a breakthrough. Let’s hope this time it is achieved and not forgotten.

World Education Forum 2015: great agreement on the final Declaration

World Education Forum 2015: great agreement on the final Declaration

  • Posted: May 22, 2015 -
  • By: -

This entry has been written by Lucía Rodríguez Donate, Advocacy Programme Coordination of the International Federation Fe y Alegría and GIAN for the Right to Education coordinator, Silvio Gutiérrez, Fe y Alegría Nicaragua director and Pedro Walpole, member of the GIAN of Ecology.

The World Education Forum celebrated in Incheon, South Korea, from May 19th to 21st has finished with the approval of a Declaration as the result of the agreement of governments, international organizations and civil society representatives from around the world. For starters, these are good news because it is not always easy to come to agreements in these terms. The Declaration states an ambitious vision of the Education for every person that wants to be achieved in the next 15 years.

In the way here, some significant progresses have been made and also some failures and in the last period two years of negotiations and conversations were needed. The International Federation Fe y Alegría has participated in this process through the UNESCO Collective NGOs Consult.

As the final result of this work week in Korea, we must highlight the importance given considering education as a Human Right and as a Public Good and how exercising it enables to exercise the rest of rights and duties. Education is the cornerstone of the sustainable development.

It gains a great importance the shared vision of transforming lives through education. Precisely, it is expected to “guarantee an inclusive, equitable and quality education promoting lifelong learning opportunities for everyone”.

It includes important unprecedented commitments in this kind of declarations in free education; the importance of positioning well trained and paid, motivated teachers; the centrality of equity and inclusion; the quality of education; the acknowledgment of the civil society participation of the civil society in the processes; and the financing commitments. The full Declaration will shortly be available but the key elements included which we value most positively are:

  • 12 years of publicly-funded, free, equitable quality primary and secondary education, of which at least nine years are compulsory.
  • At least one year of free and compulsory quality pre-primary education and ensuring that all children have access to quality early childhood development, care and education.
  • A commitment to address all forms of exclusion and marginalisation, disparities and inequalities in access, participation and learning outcomes.
  • Recognition of the importance of gender equality in achieving the right to education, including a commitment to supporting gender-sensitive policies, planning and learning environments.
  • Commitment to quality education and improving learning outcomes, including ensuring that teachers and educators are empowered, adequately recruited, well-trained, professionally-qualified, motivated and supported.
  • Commitment to quality lifelong learning opportunities.
  • Recommendations on crisis responses and ensuring that education is delivered in safe, supported and secure learning environments
  • An affirmation that the fundamental responsibility for implementing this agenda lies with the State.
  • Urging adherence to spending at least 4-6% of GDP and/or allocating at least 15-20% of total public expenditure to education.

However, the challenges and the risk of failure are a fact. For this to be a success, the commitment of all is mandatory: governments, multilateral agencies, unions, ngos, the private sector, young organizations, etc…There is a long way for this good intentions declaration to be not only that but a concrete set of domestic policies and international cooperation roadmap. It becomes essential to develop an action framework that defines the goals and indicators and to narrow down the political declaration in the financing commitments of the countries at both levels, domestically and from the international cooperation.

The international community will meet in Addis Abbeba for the Financing for Development Summit in July and the UN Sustainable Development Summit in September. After these meetings, the UNESCO General Conference in November will set the Education 2030 Framework for Action that the governments will adopt. What will happen in the next months? Will we be able not to step backwards?

In order to make this political agenda a reality it is mandatory to make a greater investment in education for the following years and to allocate national and international means to it. UNESCO estimates that 22.000 million dollars are needed to achieve the education for all that we want. Will governments commit to it truly?

On behalf of Fe y Alegría International Federation we will do everything in our hands to contribute to make a reality the right to a lifelong quality education for everyone, through its daily work in communities, in the dialogue with policy makers, in the design of suggestions and proposals and all of it by the side of the educative community. There is a lot to do yet, but we can make it if we do it together.

*You can take a look the rest of the reports of the sessions in our Facebook page as well as the daily cover of the sessions of the Forum in Twitter.

EFA Report: Adult literacy achievements and challenges

EFA Report: Adult literacy achievements and challenges

  • Posted: May 06, 2015 -
  • By: -

This post has been written by Lucía Rodríguez from Fe y Alegría Public Affairs Programme .

In 2000 it was celebrated in Dakar (Senegal) the World Education Forum where 164 committed to reach six Goals to improve the learning opportunites of children, youngsters and adults around the world by 2015.

International organizations as well as governments agreed to promote the achievement of these goals and since 2000 it is yearly published the Follow Up Report known as Education For All Report in the World, where the improvements made would be measured by countries and regions towards the achievement of the stablished goals. However, have we reached what we put forward to?, is it true that 2015 means a positive balance as the due date the countries agreed to stablish in order to reach the Goals?

Two of these goals stablished in Dakar are related to training and education of adults and youngsters. Goal 3 set the commitment of every country to ensure the the learning needs of all young people and adults are met through equitable access to appropriate learning and life-skills programmes.

On the other side, Goal 4 sets the effort to achieve a 50% improvement in adult literacy by 2015, specially for women, and equitable access to basic and continuing education.  Although the full goals have not been achieved completely, the improvements made are very satisfactory compared to the rest Goals set in Dakar. As what matters to Goal 3, 45% of the countries above the 75 of the countries with information avaliable have achieved the goals and 9% of them are close to reach them. Only 11% are far from achieving it. Furthermore, the world rate of young enrolment has increased notably as we can see in the following infographic:

screenshot-en unesco org 2015-05-06 12-16-56

Even then, there are some important aspects to work on, such as the 63 milion of youngsters unscholarized, the low percentage of young people finish the primary courses of education in low and medium incomes countries or the number of worker youngsters. As far as the Goal 4 is concerned, the obtained infomation is less satifying. Only 23% of them have accomplished the Goal while 26% is far from reaching it and 32% very far from reaching it. Not enough efforts have been made towards achieving this Goal. One of the most alarming number is the 781 million adults who have not basic skills in reading or writing.

screenshot-en unesco org 2015-05-06 12-15-09

On the other side, according to the Position Paper of a group of education institutions in the Society of Jesus in the world that have formed the Global Ignatian Advocay Network (GIAN) for the right to Education, claim that education today is a fundamental right for being an indispensable and strategic right for human dignity. Education is the base to trasnform people and societies and to ease their fulfillment, it is the key to build the society we hope for. Education is the base for any social transformation, it is the basement of any progress. We cannot forget those who could not access school while they were children, quality education must be accesible and reach all ages and be a life-long learning process. What really matters is the future of these Goals. It has been proven that we have arrived close but still, what is the next step?, are they going to be given the importance they deserve or we will be content with what has been achieved?, how do UNESCO and the civil society position themselves in order to set the Goals that will be agreed in the World Education Forum in Korea?

We can agree in the fact that both groups support the importance of adult literacy and young and adults skills acquisition and both enclose them in the objective for the World Forum of Korea, but while UNESCO defends this goal to be a determined rate of people who access this training, civil society fights for this goal to reach every person (young or adult) have access to quality education to participate in society fully.

Primary education improvements in the EFA Report: reason for hope

Primary education improvements in the EFA Report: reason for hope

  • Posted: Apr 27, 2015 -
  • By: -

This post has been written by Macarena Romero (@MacaRomeroAl) from Fe y Alegría Public Affairs Programme.

During such an important year as 2015 is for the civil society to set the Goals for the international community to commit towards the future, the known as the Education for All (EFA) Report, does an evaluation exercise of the improvements made in education matters globally from the last fifteen years. This Report is produced by UNESCO yearly evaluates the Dakar commitments towards a series of Goals (six precisely) and theses assesments will be shorten and set out in detail in hte following posts.

Si hay un objetivo sobre el que se han conseguido avances significativos por el que felicitar a la comunidad internacional es al que el Informe EFA se refiere como el Objetivo 1, es decir, aquel que atañe a la atención y educación de la primera infancia. Según UNICEF y el Comité de los Derechos del Niño, la primera infancia constituye el período que transcurre “desde el nacimiento, el primer año de vida, el período preescolar hasta la transición hacia el período escolar”. En términos operacionales toma el tramo que abarca desde el nacimiento hasta los ocho años de edad.

El Objetivo 1 del Informe EFA insta a a “extender y mejorar la protección y educación integrales de la primera infancia, especialmente para los niños más vulnerables y desfavorecidos”. De los 148 países analizados sobre los que se disponen datos desde 2000 hasta 2012 o 2014 en algunos casos, un 47% ha alcanzado el objetivo mientras que el otro 45% está lejos o muy lejos de alcanzarlo. Esta valoración porcentual se desagrega en cuarto indicadores que son la tasa de mortalidad infantil, el porcentaje de matriculación preescolar, la tasa de obligatoriedad de la enseñanza preescolar y el porcentaje de participación en la educación escolar y que como pueden observar en el siguiente gráfico podemos ser muy positivos:

POTMACAscreenshot-en unesco org 2015-05-06 13-55-34

Sin embargo, a pesar de que ha habido una disminución de las tasas de mortalidad infantil de casi un 50%, 6,3 millones de niños de menos de 5 años murieron en 2013 por causas que son en su mayoría evitables. Por otro lado, los gobiernos se habían comprometido a extender la enseñanza preescolar obligatoria, que en 2014 se ha instituido en 40 países al mismo tiempo que los establecimientos privados siguen acogiendo a más del 31% de todos los niños matriculados en la mitad de los países sobre los que se dispone de datos en todo el mundo.

El Objetivo 2 hace referencia a la enseñanza primaria universal instando a “velar por que antes del año 2015 todos los niños, y sobre todo las niñas y los niños que se encuentran en situaciones difíciles, tengan acceso a una enseñanza primaria gratuita y obligatoria de buena calidad y la terminen.”

Entre los esfuerzos realizados, el Informe resalta la supresión de tasas escolares, el aumento de transferencias sociales para incluir a grupos vulnerables en el sistema escolar y la inversión en infraestructuras y suministros para el buen funcionamiento de las escuelas. El indicador general señala que el 52% de los países han alcanzado este Objetivo, osea, hay 48 millones de niños matriculados en enseñanza primaria más que en 1999, se ha pasado de 84 al 91%. Sin embargo, la falta de datos sobre colectivos marginados que se encuentran fuera del sistema educativo perpetúa la falta de acceso al entorno escolar de muchos colectivos como discapacitados, refugiados o los excluidos por motivos económicos, de raza o sexo. Resultan alarmantes los 58 millones de niños que están aún sin escolarizar y de los cuales 25 millones nunca irán a la escuela al igual que 34 millones abandonan tempranamente la escuela cada año.

postmaca2screenshot-en unesco org 2015-05-06 13-57-52

En balance, sí, existen pues, motivos para alegrarse a la luz de las conclusiones del Informe aunque de nuevo, la prioridad de cara al futuro de los Objetivos Sostenibles sobre Educación debe ser, como bien señala el Documento de Posicionamiento que el GIAN (Global Ignatian Advocacy Network)  sobre el Derecho a la Educación promueve desde la Compañía de Jesús, la accesibilidad (junto con la disponibilidad, la accesibilidad, la adaptabilidad y la aceptabilidad) priorizando a los niños desfavorecidos y en los márgenes como los discapacitados, las niñas en muchas partes del mundo o los que viven en situaciones de emergencia, así como la calidad para frenar el abandono escolar porque la educación que los niños y niñas reciben está adaptada a los obstáculos que su entorno social o económico pueden provocar. Es responsabilidad de todos construir bases y compromisos internacionales que incluyan a los tradicionalmente excluidos del sistema educativo.

Global Action Week 2015 Join your closest network! #GAW2015

Global Action Week 2015 Join your closest network! #GAW2015

  • Posted: Apr 24, 2015 -
  • By: -

The Global Campaign for Education is a civil society movement working to end the global education crisis and its mission is to increase through aware rising actions towards the commitments that the world leaders agreed in 2000 to guarantee Education for All by 2015, including commitments to get every child in school, and to improve adult literacy by 50%. As governments prepare to make this new set of promises, it is critical that civil society holds politicians accountable for the progress and failings of the last 15 years, demands that these promises are honoured, and has a say in what is being promised to make the right to education a reality by 2030.

This civil society promotes every year what is known as the Global Action Week for Education since 2000 and there are more than 100 countries that joins this world campaign in different dates between the months of April and May. There are several Jesuit NGOs for the educative sector supporting this campaign around the world and here you can find a little calendar about the GAW 2015 in the world so you can either find the network supporting the GAW in your country or let us know of any other (there are many for sure!) GAW you or your institution is participating on:

In Italy, the coalition of 17 NGOs is campaigning this year from April 26th to May 2nd and the Jesuit Magis is part of it.

From Spain, the Jesuit organizations Entreculturas and  ALBOAN have joined the GAW2015 the April 20th to 26th.

The Fundaçao Gonçalo da Silveira from Portugal is the Jesuit organization that joins the Campaign that will be celebrated from April 26th to May 2nd.

In Peru, Fe y Alegría takes part in the GAW that started the past April 22nd.

If your are taking part in a GAW for education in your country let us know and share your experience in our social netowrks!

I vote for education, and you?

I vote for education, and you?

  • Posted: Apr 20, 2015 -
  • By: -

The Global Campaign for Education (GCE) is an international colation made up of NGOs, teacher’ unions and other civil society movements commited to education. It was established in 1999 and delivered a united civil society voice during the World Education Forum in Dakar in 2000, influencing the six Education for All goals. Since then GCE has continued to grow and some important progress has been made, including 40 million more children in school. However, far more still needs to be done to realise the right to quality education for all. Close to a billion people right now are being denied the education that would change their lives. 

GCE campaigns throughout the year, mobilising pressure from all sectors and holding governments and international institutions to account.

During this week and under the slogan “I vote for education, and you?” the GCE is campaigning to encourage new international commitments towards 2030 through the Education World Action Week in more than 120 countries in the world.

2015 is a crucial year for granting education because there are several international appointments that will deal with this topic and will set the new horizon to work on; in September 2015, the international community that will meet at the United Nations Assembly, will review the Millennium Development Goals adopted in 2000 and will take on the new Sustainable Development Goals. This review will highlight that in education matters, although there have been some important progress; there are challenges we need to face urgently. For example, the fact that, still today, there are 58 million girls and boys who have no access to schooling and there are 775 million adult people, two thirds of them who are women are illiterate.
The United Nations Assembly of September 2015 is an extremely significant date, because the new global development agenda for the next 15 years will be set. As it can inferred from the My World 2015 survey, from United Nations, there is a huge calling from the citizens of all over the world to make education the backbone of the new development Agenda. The appointment of September can become a great chance for the international community to demand the effective accountability of the right to education for everyone.
But just any kind of education will not work. The kind of educations we should stand for is an universal one, for everyone. This quality education must provide people not only with knowledge and basic skills, but also with fundamental attitudes and values to get through life. It must be an equitable education, that places excluded groups of, boys and girls, young groups and collectives in the first place: impoverished families, young girls, and ethnic minorities, those who live in countries facing armed conflicts, in refugee status, displaced o migrations, with particular educative needs, among others. It must be an inclusive education, that respects and adapts to children and young groups needs and that it embraces and values diversity, considering it an important strength. It is an education that includes lifelong learning and it has a social transformation willingness promoting global citizenship.

In Spain, under the slogan “I vote for education, and you?” , the coalition lead by several NGOs like Entreculturas, and ALBOAN, Jesuit NGOs for cooperation development, are organizing 29 mobilisation events in more than 25 cities where there will be more than 7.000 students, activists, teachers, political representatives and 170 educative centers.

In its website they are runing different actions to support education such as taking a picture with #yovotoporlaeducacion, participate in educative games likehan puesto en marcha diferentes propuestas que van desde hacerse una foto con el #yovotoporlaeducacion, a participar en juegos educativos como el “Twister of education” or representing “United Nations Assemblies“. The aim is to add on as much people as possible to this project which is showing support to a quality education for everyone. The main demand is that the Spanish Government commits into building both agendas, looking out for education to be one central goal and it is placed in the centre. Spain must increase its Official Development Assistance contribution for education, reaching at least what it has been asked in the Cooperation Comission of the Spanish Deputies Congress of assigning 8% of the total billateral ODA to basic education.

The Right to Education in emergency situtations can be guaranteed: The Jesuit Refugee Service in South Sudan

The Right to Education in emergency situtations can be guaranteed: The Jesuit Refugee Service in South Sudan

  • Posted: Apr 17, 2015 -
  • By: -

As published in their website, the work made by the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in South Sudan since 1992 highlights the importance and relevance of providing education in the most vulnerable contexts, as it is the case with the displaced population.

Currently, less than half of children are in school and illiteracy rates are among the highest in the world. Even before the conflict, girls in South Sudan had a higher chance of dying during childbirth than finishing primary school, according to the latest strategic response plan of the South Sudan Education Cluster.

Between 1992 and 2008, JRS offered education services to more than 30,000 students and trained more than 2,000 teachers in Adjumani, Uganda – one of the organisation’s largest interventions. In Kakuma refugee camp, JRS provided secondary scholarships to the brightest South Sudanese refugees. In 1997, JRS opened education projects in the South Sudanese counties of Nimule, Yei, Kajo Keji and Lobone bordering Uganda as refugees and internally displaced persons began returning home. These programmes served as many as 60,000 children a year and trained thousands of teachers.

After handing over responsibility for schools to the local church and authorities, JRS teams turned their attention toward assisting returnee refugees in Yambio county bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Uganda. The former refugees, after years of exile, returned to their war-torn homes to find little by way of infrastructure or educational opportunities, particularly for girls. Since January 2013, JRS has trained teachers, provided learning materials, renovated schools and extended education to girls through the provision of partial scholarships and sanitary materials. 

In September 2013, JRS expanded to Maban county (Upper Nile State) to provide education, psychosocial and pastoral services for both refugee and host communities. In the period surrounding independence, 125,000 people fled to Maban, escaping conflict in oil-rich Blue Nile state. Simultaneously, South Sudanese refugees from Upper Nile were returning home after years of exile in Sudan and Ethiopia.

Refugees from Sudan in Maban now constitute more than two-thirds of the local population; they find themselves caught between the war they fled at home and the one in their host society. The host community of recent returnees have come home to find a local government crippled to provide basic services – especially for education as most primary schools are not operational. 

The Education For All Monitoring Report (EFA) 2015 that came out last April 9th highlights the great barriers towards education that conflicts mean and the high percentage of unscholarized children living in conflict areas which keeps increasing every year. That is why, the JRS labour leading in South Sudan becomes fundamental in order to guarantee the Right to Education.