World education needs no #GESF

Business men making business behind education at the GESF


The 15th and 16th of March 2015 the third edition of the Global Education & Skills Forum is taking place in Dubai.

The aim of this forum, as specified on their website is to

... bring together leaders from government, business, and education, as well as leading academics, social entrepreneurs, and other thought leaders, to focus on the research, models, and mechanisms that can create quality education and employment for all.

As the subtitle of the forum says, the event is focused on Education, Equity and Employment. These three keywords carry with them some fundamental issues that the world is facing today. Just to mention a few: access and distribution of education; safety of educational environments; discriminations toward gender, race, sexual orientation, socio-economic condition; unemployment, lack of social security and basic rights. And so on. 


Quick-start guide to the Privatisation of Education in the 21st century

Soft drink ad
Soft drink advertisments in a school cafeteria

When someone talks about privatisation of education the first picture that comes into my mind is a school that, to overcome budget cuts, has installed big advertisements of a famous soft drink in classrooms.  Although the possibility this happens tomorrow is very small, there are several hidden forms of privatisation happening right now in European education. These characterisations are less striking than advertisement, but at same time way more sneaky and dangerous: they risk undermining the impartiality of education by reducing it to an exploitable commodity at the service of the labour market.

To better understand the whole process, we first need to distinguish the concepts of privatisation and commodification of Education: during the last decades, these two notions have become two sides of the same coin.