Issues and challenges to the right to education in the digital age


Published
6 April 2016
Author
Special Rapporteur on the right to education
Presented
At the Human Rights Council’s 32nd session

Summary

This report looks at issues and challenges to the right to education in the digital age, with a focus on higher education. The Special Rapporteur considers how the norms and principles that underlie the right to education should be upheld while embracing digital technologies, which are revolutionizing teaching and learning processes, and transforming the landscape of higher education.

The Special Rapporteur considers issues related to marginalization and exclusion, as well as the quality of education, especially human values in education. He expresses concerns about the digital divide and about how it affects fundamental principles, such as equality of opportunity.

The Special Rapporteur sets out policy and legal responses to address these issues and challenges, bearing in mind the normative framework of the right to education as established in international human rights treaties. He also highlights the repercussions of digital technologies on public investment in education and on the quality of education, especially in respect of preserving human values in education. He further underlines the need to safeguard education as a public good.

Finally, he offers a set of recommendations for ensuring that the implementation of digital technology in education is in keeping with State obligations on the right to education.