“Education… is the key to unlocking other human rights.” (Katarina Tomasevski, Croatia, UN Special Rapporteur). The main aspect of any human right is education, and the importance of the same is increased on a day-to-day basis in this modern era.
The role of faster evolving technology is such that it involves not only education but also upgrading in the same or different domains. The right to education is a basic and fundamental right and it allows an individual to understand the concept of a civilized society. The system of evolving a fundamental understanding of a civil society is possible only when we have educated citizens.
It is rightly said that to get long term benefits, it is essential to provide or invest in education for the citizen, as quoted by Confucius “If your plan is for one-year plant rice. If your plan is for ten years plant trees. If your plan is for one hundred years, educate children.”.
It has been clear from primitive time that education is the most important aspect of any society, and thereby its individual, and hence it becomes imperative to provide equal rights to education for all.
To provide equal education to all, it is necessary to have the Right to Education as a fundamental right and it should be available or be within reach for all the masses. In medieval times, education was a privilege for the regal portion of the society and common masses had no access to it. The changing times have confirmed that such a situation is not possible in the modern era and with the advent to tech-savvy jobs, it is almost an established fact that one cannot survive without education.
In the modern world, it is an interesting fact that basic education is necessary for day-to-day survival of an individual, and with an increase in the service sector jobs, it is almost certain that most of the jobs are based on education or skills.
In present times, there are many sections of the society, like that of developing countries like African nations, where the education penetration is low. The same trend is followed with the per capita income, so both move together.
In most of the un-educated societies, it is found that many of the individuals have no right to education. Thus, it can be deduced that education is the building block which confers that vicious cycle can be broken.
So even from the economic aspect, it is confirmed that education is necessary for the development of an individual and as a society. In the case of skills-based industries, it is mostly found that many of the new traits are needed each day, and without education as a basic right, it is impossible for the individual to learn new skills and be a better individual.
In this context, it is very well understood that in modern times, the right to education is a necessity.
It was found that many nations are struggling to provide the information on basic education and they do not employ these rights as basic rights.
The economic condition of such nations is not so good; therefore, we should continue to support such nations so that educational rights will not become a regional phenomenon, but it will be available to every human being on this planet.
We may also take the case of many ambassadors of the right to education like Madam Malala. It is notable that she even faced terrorist attacks on herself due to defending educational rights. She survived fatal bullet attacks on her and was under severe medication for many days, but in the end, she came out triumphant.
The main factor in such a story is that still there may be many Malala’s around this world who have never seen the face of schools, and despite having keen interest in the studies it was not possible for him/her to go to school.
Many societies do not pay much attention to education. As a result, even though the children may be interested in going to school, the society does not have the favourable conditions for that to happen. It is usually said that many aspects are to be covered, like basic infrastructure like roads in any area for the building of schools.
In today’s world, there are many regions in the world which are under civil war or are in a war like condition, so it becomes important for the governments to take things into their hands. It is worthwhile to mention that many of these conditions are not permanent in nature and it should be a top priority for each one of us to get involved in the process of building schools and education systems as soon as the disturbance is over in a particular region.
What usually happens is that despite having a huge expenditure in the domain of infrastructure build up, in such cases, very less attention is paid towards rebuilding up of education system, as a result it was found that many of the nations keep lagging even in basic school systems.
The education system is basically divided into two sections –
1. School or elementary education
2. Higher Education
Formal Education should be accessible to all the citizens, and government should provide the basic infrastructure in such case. In many nations the basic education is state sponsored. The main aim in this aspect is that many of the state sponsored schools are in such a condition that it is like that of private schools, and the system is created in a way that imparts quality education so that both types of school education systems can co-exist. This leads to a very efficient system.
In the case of a poverty-stricken family, the state education system can provide basic education for an individual, and if the student is self-sufficient, then he/she can opt for private education system. The main benefit of such a system is that education is continued even if the economic condition of the masses is changing, and many of the nations, usually the developing ones, follow this system.
In such a system, it is usually seen that societal divisions persist due to two levels of education systems, but either can work on its quality and surpass the other and can provide an atmosphere of healthy completion and options among the masses.
Higher education is one of the sectors which needs long term investments and planning but bears maximum fruit for the nation in terms of quality citizens and economic uplift of the masses.
The investment is a bit higher in the sector of Higher Education, but so are the results and the main attribute of this aspect is that many of the new research and development projects are being run in this sector. The only setback of covering higher education is that many new ventures are to be implemented in the society.
The most astonishing fact is that the returns in this field are time consuming and a complete analysis needs to be done, but when the results start coming, then it happens that most of the employees are engaged in this pursuit. This means that there is a steep rise in the overall communication aspect and the interest of the masses increases in this field.
In developing countries, the process of providing the commutation for scholars is extremely low but still we find that many of the new developing countries are venturing into this field.
The other aspects are that in-spite of the corresponding measures, the input in the field of education is low. The state has a proper channel of funding education, but the concern is ensuring that the education funds get to the correct person and ensuring that the quality of education is improved.
High quality education is a must for all the nations. In many countries, the rate of literacy is high, but the interest in the research is very low. This shows that basic education is dealt with with utmost care, but the other aspects of education are neglected.
In this study, we propose a two-way approach for the education at the primary level and the research level. It is recommended that primary education shall be dealt with by a different section of state or body, and the research level to be administered by another body.
This will allow for maximization of literacy sources in the basic education level and the masses will be at least literate. This functionality has the basic goal of providing maximum support to the body of the literacy governing system so that masses can be literate at the maximum level. The other aspects are that the body governing the primary education shall ensure that masses to be governed.
This can be understood from the case study of Kerala [a state in India]. This state boasts a 100% literacy rate. This accounts for the improvement in the condition of the masses. In this aspect, the study is done to increase the effect of education and literacy. The other aspect is that we need not only trained citizens, but enlightened ones, as well as technocrats.
This condition leads to analysis of a different kind. We need to create opportunities for the production of, not only literate citizens, but the citizens who are crafted for research and development. The need for higher education is felt more & more as we move towards the conformity of a developed nation. Thus, we move on the discussion towards the need for better upliftment modules in the domain of R&D.
The need for R&D level in education is evident. Let us discuss how to achieve a better R&D atmosphere in the county. The key factor towards any educational rights talk is to enhance the level of understanding and outlook of the society. The more consolidated opinion lies on the fact that many of the new aspects are related in this scenario.
The fact noted in such discussions is that even in the advanced counties, more stress is being given based on the conformity of the analysis of research and more percentage of budget allotment is done for the research activities. The involvement of the situation is such that the overall criteria is not just advancement, but the level of future planning needs to be done, and for that, continuous investment in R&D is needed.
The education activists have been more involved with the base mission of primary education to all, but the other involvements are not just for the sake of criteria, but for other modes like breaking up of vicious cycles in any country.
The administration of a country is also easier when the citizens are educated, and they have control over the social aspects. The system convinces the criteria of right to education being favourable to the system itself.
In most of the countries where the educational level of the citizens is high, the economic prosperity of said country is also high. The system, then, is such that it creates opportunity for the whole sector to improve and it leads to many such features which the country needs to be alert about it.
The information related to education as a societal right is present in many articles, but still there are aspects which are different in the approaches. For example, how well it can be seen that a system is adaptive towards the society claiming education as a basic right. The main fundamental rule of such want is that it is directly connected to the corresponding right of equity, and in fact, to the right of justice as well. The main aspect of governing the overall Education Right is simply dependent on the level of insight by the authorities.
In one of the case studies by (Mapuva & Mapuva, 2016), it is mentioned that many of the new aspects are related to the children rights to education and the complexities involved. The case study undertaken is comprised of various such issues which are to be handled with care and collectively.
In next section, we will analyse the aspects like Common Community Level, and a case about the Zimbabwe land reforms will be undertaken.
The Fast-Track Land Reform Programme (FTLRP) in Zimbabwe was started in 1999 and it gives a unique aspect of Education Rights. In the beginning, it was assumed that many of the land reforms were the need of the hour. This aspect has led to the belief that Education Rights were given equal importance in respect to the other conformities, so in this land reform, it was suggested that education should also be included as basic right.
The other aspect is that the Right to Education is not considered as an isolated right, but the Right to Food, Right to Shelter, Right to Clothing, and Right to Freedom are also attached and intermingles with it.
The movement in Zimbabwe has seen to it that many of the new rights are also to be seen, and encouraged that it starts with the Right to Education. So, we may very well say that there are prerequisites that are involved in this. The other way to see it is that any government must provide the basic facilities to ensure that the right to education is observed. This phenomenon explains the reason for a direct correlation between the right to education and economic upliftment.
The children of former commercial farm workers of Zimbabwe are members of the FTLRP, and it was found that most of the workers in the landless regime have left the children after settling in other countries. This has led to the problem of over accumulation of unemployed youth. This condition has led to the development of a scenario under which the rogue elements have been described as the basic criteria for analysis of the functions.
The other aspect is that many of the unemployed youth are creating problems and civil war like conditions in the country. Therefore, the need for education is prominent. It was found that many of the newly developed countries are to be analysed on the same lines, and it can be understood that despite the presence of various aspects, it was found that for a nation to prosper, it must adopt the right to education as a basic right.
The Right to Education is a serious issue and we all must enlighten ourselves of the same. The main factors which are considered as obstructions in the field of knowledge are issues such as weak political will or uncertainty.
For developed nations, in addition to having the Right to Education being observed, they also maintain quality allocation of resources and facilities to the students. This fact can be seen from various examples. One way to measure this fact is through sporting activities. We have seen the performance of skilled sports personnel in international events and this is possible only when the school level sports facilities are up to par.
In most of the skill developed sports like shooting, it is found that these aspects are to be dealt with utmost case and the main criterion to be developed is that it is to be nurtured at the basic level or age. This is just an example which shows how far reaching can be the effects of Education Rights.
As stated by any activists, we must look at the fact that despite having a large momentum of resources, most of the citizens or youth are educated but still are not employable. This means that despite the new systems in place, the mismatch between the employer expectations and youth training exists.
This problem is most vigorous when we found that this division of the population is not only expecting a high standard of living, but they also need a proper place of work for their personal satisfaction and progress plan. If such a situation exists, then it forces unemployment conditions in the masses.
To improve the economy and avoid mismatching in terms of skills/education versus job expectation/availability, employment should be generated at the same pace that the youth are prepared with the requisite skills for these jobs.
Skill development in the youth is very important and should be developed by introducing technical education from the school level. The modern world has evolved as a ‘warehouse’ for technical jobs. Imparting traditional educational is necessary, but technical education is more important in this time. Skill development needs to be a priority since job requirements are changing with respect to the time and technological requirements.
The Right to Education has benefitted many individuals, especially females like Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai, who are making their mark in every aspect of society. It is the power of education that makes them survive the world and lead it from the fore front with works such as “Girls Can Change The World – But We Have To Invest In Them First” – Malala Yousafzai, and “How dare you” by Greta Thunberg. It is the right to education that makes it possible to have quality education that matters, and its effect is that we can find a complete breed of youngsters who have the capability to encounter modern world problems.
If governments were to take the Right to Education seriously, adult continuing education would be possible even after a halt. Many aspects of education have evolved, and many adults would be interested in being informed on these aspects. They may also have a half-completed education, but they can continue in future and get themselves literate.
The Right to Education does not necessarily mean the ‘a right to be degree holder’. Yes, we must create schools, but there must be value in the content and the system available.
The discussion started from basic lacking Educational Rights, but we analysed that the Right to Education is possible only when sustainable goals are developed, and when the educated citizens to assist in making their countries a better place to live.
In this modern world, the challenges have evolved, and the new versions of existing problems are evident. The problem we may find is that educated citizens are more aligned towards the central core issues like climate change and support the government in its endeavour.
The government tends to be more involved in the solution when the citizens show extreme concern for the problems faced, especially in a democratic country. Citizens in these countries can use this fact to push for the Right to Education to be a part of government policies.
In conclusion, the Right to Education is not only relevant for the basic criteria of elementary education, but it can aid in economic upliftment of a country, and it affects other rights and conditions of the citizens of a country, as well as those of the global population.
Sources of Information
Mapuva, L., & Mapuva, J. (2016). The Dilemma of Children’s Right to Education in the Era of the Fast Track Land Reform Programme in Zimbabwe Re-visited. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Author : Shwetank Parihar