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Childrenʼs Rights and Education

International Perspectives


Edited By Beth Blue Swadener, Laura Lundy, Janette Habashi and Natasha Blanchet-Cohen

This book compares ways in which children’s rights in, to, and through education, formal and informal, are viewed and implemented in a variety of social and political contexts, aiming to shed light on how policies and practices can improve equal access to high quality education in an environment which is respectful of children’s rights. Chapters focus on understanding the opportunities for and challenges of addressing children’s rights to participation and to inclusion. Authors draw from a variety of disciplines, including critical and cultural studies of childhood, and bring internationally comparative policy perspectives to share nuanced and contrasting examples of ways in which a rights-based approach to education might empower children and youth. The book deepens and complicates research on children’s education rights, and will contribute to courses in comparative education, childhood studies, education policy, and children’s rights.
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10 Claiming the Right to Quality Education in Nicaragua

Human Rights–Based Approaches in Education



Claiming the Right to Quality Educa-tion in Nicaragua

Harry Shier, Martha Lidia Padilla, Nohemí Molina Torres, Leonilda Barrera López, Moisés Molina Torres, Zorayda Castillo, & Karen Alicia Ortiz Alvarado

Education rights can be thought of as comprising rights to, in, and through education. The idea of quality in education is bound up with all three. On returning to power in 2007, the Nicaraguan Sandinista government outlawed all charges for public schools. This made education free of charge (though not free of costs) and represented significant progress toward fulfilling the right to education. However, with no corresponding budget increase, this move failed to address the issue of quality, so that rights in and through education were still major issues.

This chapter describes the project “Safe, Quality Schools,” run by local NGO CESESMA (Centre for Education in Health and Environment) in rural communities in the remote coffee-growing region of northern Nicaragua. This project tackled rights in education by recognizing children not only as consumers of education, but as researchers, advocates, and change agents organizing to influence the educational system in which they are the central actors.

In the pages that follow, this chapter will examine three key project documents in order to reconsider the project’s outcomes and achievements as they relate to this education rights framework. The analysis supports the conclusion that a human rights-based approach to education, policy, and programming that also promotes the empowerment of children...

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