The right to education has been a topic of significant speculation and international debate since the beginning of the 21st century. Several diplomats and advocates of free and fair education have put forth their motions regarding the right for fair and equal access to education for all children to end poverty. It has been argued that one of the primary causes of global poverty is the lack of access to affordable education due to which many parents do not get their children educated. In turn, this leads to a lack of advanced job opportunities for these children once they grow up. And, this vicious cycle of poverty continues. However, this can be solved by appropriate intervention at the right time by the governing bodies of the respective regions.
The major hiccup to right to education during COVID-19
The pandemic has stalled trade and business worldwide which has led to insurmountable losses for corporates and governments. During such a time, investment into education seems rather far-fetched especially since several schools, colleges, and universities remain shut even today. This problem is specifically more concerning in developing countries of Africa where GDP is in general quite low and due to the impact of COVID-19, it has reduced further. Yet, countries like Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda have taken mitigative steps to ensure the right to education by investing sizeable portions of their GDP into the development of educational infrastructure. Even Asian and Middle Eastern countries like Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India have explored this avenue to ensure the right to education during this global health crisis.
The shortfall of the public education system
UNESCO has estimated that large sums of money are likely to be cut from the national budgets of several developing low-income countries of Asia, that had been allocated to education. This is going to most likely affect the public education infrastructure of countries like Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, and even India. Hence, the need for ensuring the right to education becomes all the more important and this is where the private universities come into play. With the existing lack of world-class educational infrastructure added to the costs of maintaining health and safety of students post the pandemic, the public educational institutions run by governments are touted to experience a massive shortage in operational funding.
The role of privately run universities
Considering the shortfall of the public education system, the responsibility of assuring the right to education post the pandemic rests in the able hands of the several private universities with state-of-the-art educational infrastructure. Sharda University is one such seat of learning located in the capital of India, that has been drawing large chunks of the international student population due to its global outlook and ethnic diversity of faculty and students. Therefore, students from Afghanistan who have not been able to avail the facilities of a wholesome higher education experience have migrated to India to enrol at the numerous professional and academic courses offered by Sharda University.