Monday, May 22, 2006

The right to education project

A surprisingly quiet day on the news front, so we thought that we'd take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our favourite sites: the Right to Education project. This was set up by a remarkable person - Katerina Tomasevski - who used to be 'Special Rapporteur' on education to the UN Human Rights Commission.

She resigned a couple of years ago, telling the UN that they shouldn't appoint a new rapporteur until they were prepared to (a) stop doctoring critical reports and (b) start dealing with other issues, such as discrimination.

As things stand, education can be actively dangerous: in Rwanda the school curriculum was used to foment racial hatred (a Rwandan education minister was recently convicted of his part in the genocide); in some countries an educated girl stands little chance of marrying, and thus faces a destitute old age; children of nomad families are educated out of their cultural background and then left fit only to beg: they can't survive within their marginal, 'home' culture but tribal discrimination makes them unemployable elsewhere.

There's a lot of thought-provoking material on this site - go look.

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