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Strengthening Education in Practice: Using the New Tool of UNESCO-IIEP for aligning Education Planning Documents with Human Rights Law

Mon, April 18, 9:00am to 12:00pm CDT (9:00am to 12:00pm CDT), Hyatt Regency - Minneapolis, Floor: 2, Greenway B

Group Submission Type: Pre-conference Workshop

Description of Session

The respect, protection, and fulfilment of the right to education is the obligation of every State. To guarantee such a fundamental right, States must strive to align their national laws and policies with international right to education standard-setting instruments. Specifically, States must ensure that these instruments are correctly integrated into their educational planning documents, such as Education Sector Plans (ESP), Transitional Education Plans (TEP), or programming documents. This important task requires a specific and systematic approach, which the Methodological Guidelines and accompanying tools aim to facilitate.

The purpose of the Methodological Guidelines and Toolkit is to help relevant stakeholders systematically collect and analyse the efforts to ensure the right to education; these efforts should constitute the essence of the respective educational planning and/or programming documents. The resulting analysis should also bring to light different and challenging policy gaps in education. The final goal is to mobilise all information and analyses gathered towards a constructive dialogue with key national stakeholders, and to strengthen the right to education at national and local levels.

The Methodological Guidelines and Toolkit were originally conceived to support States in the planning process, thus they are mostly directed at educational planners, managers, and decision-makers at the national level. However, the tools are flexible enough to be utilised by other relevant entities or partners at the national (independent human rights institutions, ombudspersons, NGOs, etc.) or international levels (UN agencies, development banks, INGOs, etc.).

These Methodological Guidelines and Toolkit can and should be used to complement the UNESCO Guidelines to strengthen the right to education in national frameworks (2021). The latter cover the right to education comprehensively and provide tools to examine and analyse the compatibility of national education legal and policy frameworks with international right to education standard-setting instruments. Moreover, these Methodological Guidelines and their tools focus on a new, different approach: addressing the right to education within a State’s planning and programming documents, while supporting educational stakeholders in understanding and analysing the compatibility of their own planning (ESPs and TEPs, and/or programming) documents with the international obligations and commitments synthesised by the Abidjan Principles. These complementary documents can be used as a package to ensure that the right to education is effectively integrated and enforced in all national frameworks.

Learning objectives:
• Understand the rationale and purpose behind the development of the Methodological Guidelines and corresponding tools and the importance of aligning education planning documents with human rights law
• Understand the methodology of the different tools included in the toolkit and the way they can facilitate education planning processes
• Explore and clarify the “Key Issues” and “Guiding Questions” incorporated in the tools for the analysis of the education planning documents and their compatibility with the international obligations on the right to education
• Reflect on how the different tools apply to different educational planning scenarios across different contexts

Two facilitators, in addition to the organizers, with experience using the Methodological Guidelines and Toolkit will be present to support the workshop. It will be done according to the following steps:
1. Introduction and workshop objectives
2. Short presentation and discussion about the development process of the Methodological Guidelines and Toolkit
3. Introduction to the Methodological Guidelines and Toolkit and general discussion
4. Break up in groups of about 15 and discussion of how the Methodological Guidelines and corresponding tools can facilitate education planning in practice
5. Plenary to reflect on its use in different contexts and scenarios
6. Conclusion and next steps

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