OIDEL organised a Q&A session on 19 February with Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Kombou Boly Barry. The aim of the meeting was primarily to discuss Dr. Barry’s report for the 47th regular session of the Human Rights Council.
The report revolves around the right to education and the limitations of this right as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It focuses on the efforts required to encourage the development of each individual to their full potential.
According to Dr. Barry, there are other actors besides the pandemic that can hinder development in education, such as financial resources. The COVID-19 pandemic has given birth to a crisis that has an economical and environmental down-side as well as an educational impact. For instance, she stated that women and girls are a particular vulnerable group and that the inequality educational gap between the wealthy and those in need is widening.
Representatives from NGOs such as Save the Children or the European Parents’ Association also participated asking questions related to the current state of the right to education. Regarding developed countries, there were popular international topics brought up such as the recent law “Celaá” in Spain, that aims to deny participation of the civil society in Spain, a participation that Dr. Barry says is key in the right to education.
Finally, Dr. Barry stressed that it is impossible to talk about education without referring to culture since research has shown that teaching a child in its native language helps to create an environment of confidence and speeds up the learning process.