That the content of education is relevant, non-discriminatory, culturally appropriate, and of quality; that the school itself is safe and teachers are professional.
Possible questions to consider:
Is education pluralistic? Is it free from religious (or other) indoctrination? Are the curricula and texts open and tolerant towards a range of different (religious, political, etc.) belief systems?
Is education non-discriminatory? Are texts and curricula non- biased and objective? Is the education relevant and culturally appropriate?
Are there minimum standards for education (numbers of text books, methods of instruction, etc.), which are monitored and enforced by the government (in both the private and public school systems)?
Is the school safe? Is violence condemned? Are minimum health standards in place?
Are there sufficient teachers? Are they trained to an appropriate standard? Are they properly supported and supervised?
Possible indicators and violations:
The content of education should be pluralistic, relevant, non-discriminatory and culturally appropriate, and of quality; the school itself should be safe and the teachers professional.
Indicator: Education should be pluralistic and guarantee the rights of parents to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions (ICCPR Art. 18 (4) ), ICESCR Art. 13(3), and to establish schools outside the public education system (ICESCR Art. 13(4) ). Possible violation: This is clearly violated where minority (or other independent) schools are unjustifiably closed or where, for example, poor children are channelled towards monastic religious schools without being offered any alternative educational opportunity. This is also violated where curricula and texts are required to conform to an established government dogma.
Indicator: There must be minimum standards in law and fact for the quality of education – it must be relevant, culturally appropriate (including prioritizing the language of instruction), non-discriminatory and the contents of curricula, textbooks and methods of instruction must be of good quality to students and, in appropriate cases, parents. This is subject to the educational objectives and minimum educational standards as may be approved by the State. Additionally, these guarantees have to be set, monitored and enforced by the government throughout the education system, whether the institutions are public or private. Possible violation: Where the teaching of general history of religions and ethics is conducted in a biased and subjective way. This is violated when the form of teaching is not appropriate or of an acceptable quality, or for example when the choice of optional choices is significantly reduced, or if there is a drastic shortage of textbooks and other relevant learning materials.
Indicator: Schools must be safe (including the exclusion of violence in schools, especially the prohibition of corporal punishment) and environmental health standards must be adhered to. Possible violation: For example, where discipline is inconsistent with the principles of human dignity – e.g. public humiliation or food rights taken away; sexual abuse within the school environment.
Indicator: Teachers must be of a professional standard. Possible violation: Insufficient numbers of qualified teachers.