Interactive dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education on Education as a cultural right

GENEVA (JUNE 28, 2021) - Last Thursday and Friday, OIDEL took part in the 47th regular session of the Human Rights Council, where the Special Rapporteur on the right of education presented her report: Right to education: the cultural dimensions of the right to education, or the right to education as a cultural right.

Throughout the session, the Special Rapporteur conveyed her gratitude to everyone involved in the drawing of the report and examined the report before hearing the views of the various states. As she went over the main points of the report, we would like to highlight the effort the Special Rapporteur made to underline educational pluralism. She noted that educational pluralism is primarily dependent on cultural diversity, as evidenced by various aspects in the report. First, by recognizing parents' freedom to choose their children’s education and private institutions' right to build educational institutions, and second, by realizing that private schools allow for educational diversity.

When the Special Rapporteur had completed summarizing the report's major elements,  the session let the different states and organizations express their viewpoints and concerns on the issue. Most of the states agreed that cultural dimensions are necessary to provide inclusivity in education and the Special Rapporteur addressed their distress summarized in three points:

  1. She expressed her gratitude to all states as they highlighted the different experiences their countries are experiencing.
  2. She explained that there is a need to understand the diversity as a whole, that it needs to be seen at all levels, not only at a linguistic level. This has to translate into different education programs with trained teachers and involved families.
  3. She stressed that there is a need to have open pedagogy in order to make it possible that education is adapted to each student's necessities.

OIDEL intervened in the event as an NGO and madre three points regarding the Special Rapporteur’s report. First, OIDEL agreed that cultural rights ensure the cultural resources necessary to freely achieve a process of identification during their oral statement. Second, explained that it is crucial to emphasize that the existence of non-governmental schools helps to promote educational plurality and diversity. And finally, OIDEL called attention to the report's reference to the need for a common good approach. To accomplish a holistic realization of the right to education that takes into account the cultural perspective, all actors are required. OIDEL’s oral statement was co-signed by OIEC, New Humanity, Apprentissage sans frontières, Institut International de l’Écologie Industrielle et de l’Économie Verte, ADF International.

LINK to read the report