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That education can evolve with the changing needs of society and contribute to challenging inequalities, such as gender discrimination, and that it can be adapted locally to suit specific contexts.

Possible questions to consider:

Is the school able to adapt the provision of education to the specific needs of their pupils and local children? (e.g. Are religious and cultural holidays recognised; are students with disabilities catered for etc.?)

Can education adapt to the changing needs of societies and communities? Are there adequate provisions for linguistic and cultural minorities – balancing learning the national language and culture with preserving their own? Is education adapting and responding to the HIV pandemic etc.?

Is there a link between school leaving age and minimum age for employment, marriage, military, criminal responsibility etc.? What happens to young people if there is a mismatch of ages?

Does schooling protect and enhance children’s rights e.g. does it prevent them from child labour or forced marriages, does it enhance their employability, increase gender equality etc.?

Possible indicators and violations:

Education should evolve with the changing needs of society and contribute to challenging inequalities, such as gender discrimination, so that it can be adapted locally to suit specific contexts.

Indicator: Obligation to adapt education to the best interests of each child, especially regarding children with disabilities, or minority and indigenous children. Possible violation: Schools fail to accommodate special religious or cultural holidays, so that students are penalized for missing school. Students should be able to make the time or work up, take an exam on a different day, or benefit from some other form of accommodation. The failure of schools to provide similar accommodation for students with disabilities is also a violation.

Indicator: Education has to be flexible so it can adapt to the needs of changing societies and communities and respond to the needs of students within their diverse social and cultural settings, by e.g. eliminating prejudices and reconciling diverse values through dialogue and respect for difference. Possible violation: The Government does not provide educationally adequate means for members of linguistic and/or cultural minorities to learn the national language and the ways of the mainstream culture that will enable them to participate fully and actively in all aspects of it to the level they wish.

Indicator: Link between the school leaving age and the minimum age for employment, marriage, military recruitment, criminal responsibility. Possible violation: Where education is compulsory until the age of 12 and the age of minimum employment is 14, 12-14 year olds are left particularly vulnerable to the risk of economic exploitation.

Indicator: Out of school education for children and young people deprived of their liberty, refugees, internally displaced people, working children and nomadic communities. Possible violation: This is violated if the rights of children aren’t enhanced through their attendance at school, i.e. their ability to escape child labour, forced marriages or if the manner of teaching is exactly the same throughout a country with no regard to different social and cultural settings.

Indicator: Education should enhance the human rights of children, e.g. their ability to gain employment, increase gender equality, prevent conflict, avoid socio-economic exclusion, etc. Possible violation: Where there are high dropout rates for girls due to pregnancy or early marriage.