Education Rights Are Human Rights; Educators Speak: What and for whom?(Opinion &Amp; Editorial)

Manila Bulletin, July 6, 2002 | Go to article overview

Education Rights Are Human Rights; Educators Speak: What and for whom?(Opinion &Amp; Editorial)


Byline: Eric D. Torres

THE current globalization trends result in increasing inaccessibility and further deterioration of the quality of education. Despite the advancement in sciences and information technology, globalization policies such as liberalization, deregulation and privatization exert detrimental impact not only in the economy but as well as on the socio-cultural rights of the people like the right to education.

International Standards of Education

There are at least five international documents that have influenced our national laws and policies on education; and these are (1) Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), adopted by all member states in 1948 in New York City; (2) UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education, adopted 14 December 1966 in Paris, France; (3) International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) ratified in 1966; (4) UNESCO's International Commission for the Twenty-First Century in 1998; and (5) World Declaration on Education for All in Jomtien, 2000).

The UDHR of 1948 states in Article 26 (1): "Everyone has the right to education;" (2) "Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms."

The ICESCR of 1966 states in Article 13 (1): "The state parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to education. They agree that education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and the sense of dignity, and shall strengthen the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms."

In the UNESCO Convention, education is defined as referring to "all types and levels of education, and includes access to education, the standard and quality of education, and the conditions, under which such education is given. That every person has the right to education. Discrimination as to race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, as well as social origin and economic condition or birth, is considered a human rights violation."

UNESCO's International Commission for the Twenty First Century recommended that "states devote at least six percent of their Gross National Product (GNP) to education."

The World Declaration on Education for All, states that "all children, young people and adults have the human right to benefit from an education that will meet their basic learning needs in the best and fullest sense of the term; and education that includes learning to know, to do, to live together, and to be. It is an education geared to tapping each individual's talents and potential and developing learner's personalities, so that they can improve their lives and transform their societies."

The Indicators from the International Standards

The state parties to these international standards perceive the indicators of the fulfillment of the right to education as:

1. Basic education shall be compulsory and free;

2. Secondary education including technical and vocational shall be made generally available and; likewise,

3. Higher education shall be made impartially accessible.

National Standards on Education

The 1987 Philippine Constitution, under Article XIV, Section 1 on education stipulates that "The state shall protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all levels and shall take appropriate steps to make such education accessible to all."

And the same article Section 2 state shall: (1) "Establish, maintain and support a complete, adequate, and integrated system of education relevant to the needs of the people and society."

2.) "Establish and maintain a system of free public education in the elementary and high school levels. Without limiting the natural right of parents to rear their children; elementary education is compulsory for all children of school age. …

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Education Rights Are Human Rights; Educators Speak: What and for whom?(Opinion &Amp; Editorial)
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