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CAPPA writes FG, demands removal of impediments to free public education

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Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) has urged the Federal Government to remove all limitations to free and quality public education by supporting the Abidjan Principles, which a group of human rights experts from around the world adopted in 2019 in Cote D’Ivoire.

CAPPA made the demand in a letter to the ministries of education and foreign affairs, as several organisations ramp up advocacy and awareness globally aimed at policy makers about the principles. The global awareness efforts commenced on June 14, 2021.

The Abidjan Principles are a reference point for governments, educators and education providers when debating the respective roles and duties of states and private actors in education. They compile and unpack existing legal obligations that States have regarding the delivery of education, and in particular the role and limitations of private actors in the provision of education.

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They provide more details about what international human rights law means by drawing from other sources of law and existing authoritative interpretations.

In the letter titled: Opportunities To Strengthen The Right To Education In Nigeria And Globally, and dated Wednesday, June 23, 2021, CAPPA commended the Nigerian government for the recent launch of the Alternate School Programme (ASP) designed to ensure that every out-of-school child in Nigeria gains access to quality basic education, irrespective of social, cultural, or economic circumstance, in line with the aspirations of Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG-4).

It, however, urged the Nigerian government to support the upcoming resolution on the right to education, which will be discussed at the ongoing 47th Session of the Human Rights Council and to request that the resolution includes a call for the United Nations to provide support to governments to use the right to education to strengthen public education systems in the post-COVID-19 context.
  
It advised the Federal Government to take the opportunity of participating in the Global Education Summit on July 28 and 29, 2021, co-hosted by British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson and Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta, to commit to maintaining and increasing current share of national budget allocated to education (aiming at least 6 per cent of Gross Domestic Product).

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In a statement issued by CAPPA Director of Programmes, Philip Jakpor, in Lagos, it also canvassed dedication of budgets to public education, insisting that the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) must focus its funding on public education systems and not commercial providers and stakeholders in education.
  
At the national level, it urged the government to consider training for relevant public officials including those at the Ministry of Education on the practical use of the Abidjan Principles in supporting the right to education to guide education planning.
  
CAPPA Executive Director, Akinbode Oluwafemi, said: “Nigeria, just like other countries that have endorsed the principles, has an obligation to remove all obstacles to free, inclusive, quality, public education.

“This obligation is grounded in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and elaborated in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of 1966.”

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In this article:
Akinbode OluwafemiCAPPA
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