Member States are increasingly seeking ways and means to step up efforts to ensure their national systems and frameworks are aligned with international commitments and obligations in order to overcome challenges in the full implementation of the right to education and the realization of SDG4. As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, strong national legal and policy frameworks that lay the foundation and conditions for the delivery and sustainability of free, inclusive, equitable and quality education in all contexts are essential for the effective implementation and enforcement of this key human right.
Through a hands-on approach, the Guidelines were developed with the aim to strengthen national frameworks by assisting countries and stakeholders in conducting an assessment of the compatibility of their national education legal and policy framework with international standard-setting instruments on the right to education, and in light of SDG 4 commitments.
These Guidelines aim to assist in the review of national education legal and policy frameworks in view of:
- Developing practical knowledge on the right to education based on the Right to education handbook and supporting capacity development;
- Providing operational tools to assess the status of the right to education at country level and its compatibility with international and regional human rights obligations and international commitments (SDG 4);
- Identifying legal and policy gaps in education at country level and resulting challenges;
- Making recommendations for the full alignment of national constitutions, legislations and policies with international standards and provisions;
- Providing insights on how to implement the recommendations in view of necessary reforms.
These Guidelines may be used by all relevant actors, such as local education groups, intergovernmental organizations and civil society organizations, although they are primarily intended for ministries of education.