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World Bank must stop push to expand private education

Increased support for public-private partnerships is deepening inequality[hhmc]
The World Bank has b..

Increased support for public-private partnerships is deepening inequality[hhmc]

The World Bank has been steadily increasing its support for privatized education in lower-income countries despite mounting evidence that this approach is freezing out poorer children – especially girls – and doesnt improve education quality.

Oxfams new report “False Promises” published ahead of this years World Bank and IMF Spring meetings says the Bank should immediately stop promoting Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) that expand private education.

Oxfam analyzed the Banks primary and secondary education portfolio between 2013-2018 and found more than one-fifth of projects included support to governments for private education. From 2014 to 2018, 20 of the 94 projects supported private provision compared to 10 out of 59 between 2008 to 2012.

The number of countries hosting these projects nearly doubled, from 7 to 13. In addition, a separate 2017 study by RESULTS found that the Banks private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation, has quadrupled its funding to for-profit private schools since 2006.

The Bank is also actively advising governments to invest in PPPs via its “Systems Approach for Better Education Results” (SABER) program, for instance telling countries to provide start-up funding and public land for private schools, reduce regulations and expand for-profit schooling.

The Bank advised Ghana in 2015 to experiment with a PPP approach and lower its certification standards for private-school teachers. In 2016, it advised Nepal to change its laws to make for-profit schools eligible for public funding.

To date, there is no evidence that PPP schools consistently perform better than public schools. Instead, studies show they increase educational inequalities. In countries like Uganda, they have been criticized for employing under-qualified teachers and having poor education outcomes.

Oxfam said that it was particularly concerned about the PPPs that push “low fee” and for-profit schools because the schools disproportionately exclude girls and the poorest children, while often paying poverty wages to under-qualified teachers. In Uganda and Kenya, commercial schools have been accused of refusing to comply with minimum government education standards.

In the meantime, low-income countries are spending under half the UNESCO-recommended minimum, $ 197 dollars per student, that is needed to provide decent primary education.

“We are extremely concerned about the Bank pushing privatized education as the solution to improve education outcomes for all – because it simply is not achieving that,” said Oxfam Internationals Head of Washington DC Office, Nadia Daar.

“Instead evidence is mounting that these PPPs are creating a highly unequal and stratified education system where too many kids are locked out of school because they cannot afford the high costs or meet the entry requirements.”

The World Bank is the biggest external funder in the world for education, much of which supports public schooling. It has rallied the importance of investing in health and education through its Human Capital project.

“The Bank must use this influential platform to champion a major investment in universal, quality, free public education. This is one of the most powerful tools to fight poverty and inequality. It must stop promoting private education which excludes the poorest and most vulnerable children,” report author and Oxfam senior public services advisor, Katie Malouf Bous said.

“The money is out there but we need political will. We need to see domestic and international tax reforms. Donors must fully implement their aid commitments, and we need a fair restructuring of debt which is strangling so many low income countries fiscal space and their ability to pay for essential public services. We hope newly announced president David Malpass will champion these issues as well as other critical areas such as urgent climate action.”

Oxfam points out that while not all World Bank projects that support private provision are inherently harmful, many of them fund a model that expands private schooling rather than providing quality public education as a human right.

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Vodafone makes 5G available in homes in Qatar

Tribune News Network
Vodafone Qatar continues its leadership in driving digital innovation with..

Tribune News Network
Vodafone Qatar continues its leadership in driving digital innovation with news that it is making 5G technology commercially available with the launch of its latest innovation- Vodafone GigaHome- the new home internet solution.

Vodafone GigaHome covers every size house with guaranteed Wi-Fi in every roomusing a state of the art Giga- Wi-Fi Hubpowered by Vodafones GigaNet networkincluding Fibre and 5G.Alongside this, customers can enjoy free lifestyle offers including Entertainer and WAVO by OSN whichprovides live channels from across the globe, TV shows and on-demand movies.

With Vodafone GigaHome there are no installation fees, no charges for moving to a new house and seamlessinstallation. This latest offering follows Vodafones announcement last month that it doubled the speed of all its existing customers home fibre internet for free.

Commenting on their latest launch, Vodafone Qatars Chief Operating Officer, Diego Camberos, said: “Were delighted to make 5G available in homes of Qatar to meet our customersneeds and lifestyle requirements. GigaHome Wi-Fisolves the fact that manyfamilies are experiencinginconsistent internetdue to poor Wi-Fi coverage in their homes.”

“The launch of Vodafone GigaHome isanother important milestone in our clear strategy to lead digital innovation in Qatar. Far more than mobile, we have been rolling out a full spectrum of digital solutions for personal and business use; all supported by our world-class network– GigaNet,” added Camberos.

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Kushner: Mideast plan to come after Ramadan, seek Palestinian investment

US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner said Tuesday he would present his long-awaited ..

US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner said Tuesday he would present his long-awaited Middle East peace proposal around June and that it would include a “robust business plan” for the Palestinians.[contfnewc]
Kushner, speaking at a forum of Time magazine, said he had hoped to offer the proposal late last year but that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had called elections and still needs time to form a coalition.[contfnewc]
“Once that’s done we’ll probably be in the middle of Ramadan, so we’ll wait until after Ramadan and then we’ll put our plan out,” said Kushner, a senior advisor to Trump, referring to the Muslim fasting month which ends in early June.
Kushner’s plan has already been met with deep skepticism from the Palestinians, who say Trump cannot be an honest broker after he took the landmark step of recognizing bitterly disputed Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.[contfnewc]
But Kushner, whose own role has been questioned due to his longstanding family ties with Netanyahu, said he remained hopeful that his “unconventional approach” would bear fruit.
“I think that if people focus on the old traditional talking points we will never make progress,” he said.[contfnewc]
He declined to answer if the plan would include longstanding US support for a Palestinian state, after hints by the administration that it would not, but said it would include investment to boost the Palestinian economy.
“Our focus is really on the bottom up, which is how do you make the lives of the Palestinian people better, what can you resolve to allow these areas to become more investable?” he said.[contfnewc]
“We deal with all the core status issues because you have to do it, but we’ve also built a robust business plan for the whole region,” he added.
Kushner also said the plan would address Israel’s concerns over security.
“I think that what we do is something that allows for Israel to maintain security, but there will be tough compromises for both,” he said.
Netanyahu in his election campaign vowed to annex parts of the West Bank where Israeli settlers live, a prospect that would doom longstanding Palestinian hopes of a state.[contfnewc]
The Israeli leader said Tuesday he plans to name a new settlement in the occupied Golan Heights after Trump in appreciation of his recognition of Israel’s claim of sovereignty there.
Trump broke with longstanding international consensus last month when he recognized Israel’s claim of sovereignty over the part of the strategic plateau it seized from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War.[contfnewc]
The decision came only two weeks ahead of the tightly contested Israeli election, which saw Netanyahu win a record fifth term in office.
The Trump administration has also cut funding that the United States had supplied to a UN agency helping Palestinian refugees and their descendants.
Last year, it slashed funding to the agency by $300 million and said it would not repeat the $60 million that it did provide.[contfnewc]
Kushner has also cultivated close personal ties with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman as part of his efforts to forge regional backing for his plan.
The heir to the Saudi throne has however been the focus of widespread criticism over the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in its Istanbul consulate.
Kushner sidestepped a question Tuesday about reports that the US intelligence services had concluded that the prince had ordered the journalist’s murder.
“I’m not going to dispute American intelligence services’ recommendations. I’m also not going to talk about anything intelligence related,” Kushner said.[contfnewc]

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Qatari Emir in Rwanda for three-day state visit

The Emir of Qatar, His Highness Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, arrived in Rwanda on Sunday, leading a hig..

The Emir of Qatar, His Highness Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, arrived in Rwanda on Sunday, leading a high-powered delegation of senior government officials and business executives from the Gulf state.

He is in the country for a three-day state visit.

Upon his arrival yesterday, the Emir, together with his host, President Paul Kagame witnessed the signing of four bilateral agreements between the two countries

The signing, which was preceded by a tete-a-tete between the two leaders, took place at Village Urugwiro in Kacyiru.

The agreements were signed in the areas of culture, sports, cooperation in the field of tourism and business events.

The two countries also signed agreements between Aviation Travel and Logistics (ATL) and Qatar Airways.

ATL is the parent company of the national carrier, RwandAir.

The visit by the Emir of Qatar follows one by the countrys Deputy Prime Minister, Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, last month.

Prior to this, President Kagame had visited the country last year.

The two nations have been working to increase cooperation in various aspects including diplomatic cooperation, political dialogue as well as different potential investments in Agriculture, technology, mining, transport, tourism.

In February this year, Members of Parliament approved a bilateral investment treaty between Rwanda and Qatar that was signed last year.

During the approval, parliament was informed that Rwanda is already in talks with potential investors from Qatar who have expressed keen interest in investing in coffee, education and agriculture among other areas.

The two nations also have pacts that cover air services business, reciprocal promotion and protection of investments and a memorandum of understanding on economic, commercial as well as technical cooperation.

Qatar and Rwanda also share ties through agreements in civil aviation, with Qatar Airways, the Gulf States flag carrier, operating direct flights to Rwanda since 2012.

Following the signing of the agreements, President Kagame hosted a dinner in honour of his guest and his delegation.

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