Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe

Freedom of Education Index – Presentation of the Worldwide Report 2016 on Freedom of Education

Brussels, 10 November 2016

20161109 151618 resizedYesterday, 9 November, in partnership with OIDEL, FAFCE hosted the presentation of the Freedom of Education Index – Worldwide Report 2016 on Freedom of Education, a report prepared by OIDEL with the collaboration of Novae Terrae Foundation. OIDEL is a Geneva-based NGO working on the field of education with a consultative status at the United Nations.

Following the introductory remarks by Mr. Antoine Renard, FAFCE’s President, Mr. Alfred Fernandez, Director General of OIDEL, introduced the report with a speech on Freedom of teaching: guaranteeing pluralism and democracy. Mr. Fernandez briefly explained how freedom of education is recognised in international treaties and emphasised the importance of civil society on education. Concluding, he stated that the goal of education is the development of the human person.

Mr. Ignasi Grau, Official Representative of OIDEL, then presented the main findings of the report, which studied 136 countries, covering 94% of the world population. The Index analysed the legal possibility of creating non-government schools (NGS), whether and how governments finance these schools, the enrolment of students in primary education and the enrolment rate in NGS.

The research found that Europe and North America (according to the UNESCO regional division) is the region with more freedom of education and that almost 75% of states finance NGS. However, very often financial aid is low and/or poorly defined.

After the presentation, a lively debate with the audience, composed by Members of the European Parliament, Representatives of Churches and NGOs, took place.

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