The Right to Education

By Wai Nam Or. Wai Nam, 16, is a student at HKMW David Li Kwok Po College, Hong Kong, China. Please read his entry and leave your comments below.

I agree that education is a right, not a privilege.

Simply, a right is inherent to every single human being, while a privilege is a right only applied to a certain group of people. As young activist Malala Yousafzai once said, ‘ Every child should be given the right to learning.’ Therefore, I agree that education is a right and should be given to every single one of us, not just a certain group.

Firstly, in terms of institutional aspect, everyone has the right to education. According to the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human rights in 1948, states in Article 26, the right to education belongs to everyone. In which, this law has also been reaffirmed in various international and regional level including UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education in 1960 and Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989. This shows that everyone deserves the right to be educated, regardless of which sex, race, nationality or any other status you are. We are all born equally and should be also treated equally and fairly, however in current society, many people are being mistreated and everyone is being judged based on where they are from or how they look like.

Education has changed to being a privilege and only given to a certain group people, while there are 57 million people not only not being given the right to be educated, but being forced to do labour work in a very small age. Everyone should be entitled to these rights, without discrimination.

Secondly, in terms of self aspect, education fully develops one’s human personality. According to the global partnership for education, learning can help fully develop a person’s personality and understanding towards the society. Education is not only about enhancing one’s knowledge and wisdom, it’s also about enhancing their moral and virtue, different skills for example critical thinking and communication skills. All in all, it can fully develop a person as a whole.

Having education be a privilege makes millions of people not able to learn many things. Without it, we would not have been able to learn how to socialise with one another and build new connections and interpersonal relationship with one another; we would not have been able to learn and develop respect among different nations, racial or religious groups; we would not have been able to learn what is happening around the world, and most significantly, we would not have been able to learn and get to know ourselves.

Lastly, in terms of society aspect, education helps us to prepare for the future. According to the Southeast Education Network, education’s purpose can act as a guide to help people find their own paths to their own dreams. The future relies on the youth of the current generation to develop, while education allows us to have a better understanding and preparation on what it is like in the society. Through the process of learning and enhancing our skills, we are able to develop and find our interests towards what we want to be in the future. Whether you want to be a therapist, lawyer, social worker or performer, education is the bridge that allows us to have the basic foundation of it. It is the one that acts us the guide to the pathway we want to have and excel in the future. With it being a privilege and can only enjoyed by a few, people cannot have a clear direction nor foundation to what they want to be in the future, hence they can easily become lost, stressed and hopeless in the future as they do not know what their role in the society is. Which, not only affects themselves, but also affects the community as a whole.

With that being said, everyone should be given the right to be educated.

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