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Accelerating progress on education

Jan 08, 2009

Whilst basic education rights are universally recognised, ways of achieving them are highly contextualised. UNICEF’s Developing Rights-Based Education SWAps in South Asia: From Evidence to Action supports creative thinking and suggests how sector-wide approaches can be an instrument to build an inclusive and equitable education system.

Developing Rights-Based Education SWAps in South Asia: From Evidence to Action

Publisher: UNICEF, 2008

Over the past decade of international assistance to education, Sector-Wide Approaches (SWAps) have become the dominant approach, intended to accelerate progress on the MDGs and Education For All (EFA) goals.

SWAps are intended to bring about a coherent approach to the sector, which creates the potential for addressing the complex and interlinked factors of inequality and social exclusion in a more effective way.

UNICEF 2008.jpg

Referring to a SWAp thus implies both the coherent, long term plan and programme for the education sector (with institutional structures and mechanisms to match) and a modality of financial assistance and technical support that enables governments, with the support of the wider society, to create and sustain such a system.

The whole purpose of a SWAp can be seen as institutional development for effective educational delivery. This requires exploring existing structures, roles and competencies, with an explicit focus on monitoring and mainstreaming of gender and equity issues, as well as on structures and capacity for designing, implementing and monitoring targeted initiatives.

It is clear that many children in South Asia do not yet enjoy their right to a good quality education, in a supportive, protective context free of discrimination. The interactions between poverty, gender inequality and social exclusion are reflected in marked disparities in educational demand and access, between the most advantaged and disadvantaged groups and individuals.

To develop a rights-based approach to education, the document outlines some of the following SWAp-specific analysis of disparities in relation to access, completion, quality of educational opportunity:

  • Children affected by poverty
  • Children affected by gender discrimination
  • Socially excluded groups
  • Geographically isolated groups
  • Children in especially difficult circumstances
  • Disabled children
  • Impact of conflict or natural disaster
Source : UNICEF
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