The right to education has been universally recognised since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 (though referred to by the ILO as early as the 1920s) and has since been enshrined in various international conventions, national constitutions and development plans. However, while the vast majority of countries have signed up to, and ratified, international conventions (such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child) far fewer have integrated these rights into their national constitutions or provided the legislative and administrative frameworks to ensure that these rights are realised in practice. In some cases the right exists along with the assumption that the user should pay for this right, undermining the very concept of a right. In others, the right exists in theory but there is no capacity to implement this right in practice. Inevitably, a lack of government support for the right to education hits the poorest hardest. Today, the right to education is still denied to millions around the world.
The right to education is a fundamental human right. Every individual, irrespective of race, gender, nationality, ethnic or social origin, religion or political preference, age or disability, is entitled to a free elementary education. This right is explicitly stated in the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), adopted in 1948 CONTENT AND THE RIGHT TO EDUCATION.
Legal standards on the right to education encompass two broad components: enhancement of access of all to education on the basis of equality and nondiscrimination, and freedom to choose the kind (public/private institutions) and content (religious and moral) of education. Both aspects represent the spirit and cardinal essence of the right to education. The demanding nature of the obligations involved in ensuring the right to education is reflected in the number and variety of reservations, declarations and...