Education is a key element of children’s lives. It teaches them about different cultures and helps them to get along with others. Kids also learn how to study and how to learn new things.
Educators must uphold each child’s unique value and dignity. This requires recognizing diversity in family structure, language, religion, racial identity, and abilities and disabilities.
Education is a human right
Education is considered a human right, but many children and young people do not have access to it. According to the GEM Report and UIS data, 244 million children and youth worldwide are not in school. Education is important because it helps to understand and promote the rights of all people, regardless of their sex, ethnicity, or religion. It also gives students knowledge about their local and global environment.
Education is also a critical pathway out of poverty. UNESCO estimates that 171 million people could be lifted out of extreme poverty through education alone. It is a powerful tool for transforming the lives of individuals, families, communities, and nations. It can also reduce child labour, which violates the right to dignity of children. Education teaches people how to think critically and make informed decisions. It also enables them to participate in public life and exercise their citizenship. It is an indispensable component of democracy. The Council of Europe has long been a champion for human rights in education.
It is a social right
In a world full of adversity, education is the one thing that all children can do to better themselves and their lives. However, too many things stand in the way of their ability to exercise this right. These include poverty, conflict, health crises, natural disasters, geographic isolation and social exclusion. Children who don’t get the chance to go to school often get stuck in cycles of poverty, with each missed opportunity compounding their disadvantages.
UNESCO’s work is based on the notion that “learning begins at birth”, which was introduced in the World Declaration on Education for All in Jomtien. The organisation believes that high-quality early childhood care and education (ECCE) is not only a critical investment in each child’s potential but also yields significant medium- and long-term benefits for individuals and society as a whole. It also recognises that non-state actors are increasingly filling the gap in this field. However, it stresses the need for state-led quality assurance and accountability mechanisms.
It is a moral right
A person’s right to education is a moral imperative because it requires the sacrifice of a person’s time, which could have been spent with family, or pursuing their own interests. Furthermore, it is the foundation of a society and it contributes to the well-being of individuals and communities. This is why it is essential that all kids have access to quality education.
Early childhood is the most critical stage in a person’s life. This is the time when they develop their self-esteem, perception of the world and moral outlook. The education they receive at this age will have a lasting impact on their lives.
International human rights law guarantees the right to education. During belligerent occupation, occupying powers must facilitate schools and ensure that the learners are educated in their own language and religion (Article 24 Geneva Convention IV). During civil conflicts, detaining powers must provide education to children and young people, within or outside internment, according to their own choice of subject and school (Article 94 Geneva Convention IV). This includes providing them with access to books and teaching them to read and write.
It is a legal right
Education is a fundamental human right and one of the most important factors for lifting people out of poverty and unlocking their full potential. Yet millions of children around the world still struggle to access education, and face obstacles ranging from discrimination and child labour to dangerous journeys to school.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone has the right to education, which is essential for their personal development and for the progress of society as a whole. However, the practical application of this right is a complex issue. It requires a balance between educational freedom and equal access to quality education.
Moreover, the right to education also requires States to provide basic education that is free of charge and accessible to all. In practice, this often means creating a free public education system that provides basic skills and enables students to pursue higher learning. Several federal laws, such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, guarantee children a constitutionally protected statutory right to education.