CyberDodo and the Right to Education (2-38)
Articles 28 and 29 of the Convention are dedicated to education :
Article 28 -The child has the right to education. The State must make primary education compulsory and available free to all. School discipline must respect the child's human dignity. To achieve these goals, international cooperation is encouraged.
Article 29 - The education of the child shall favour the development of the child's personality, talents and mental and physical abilities. The education must prepare the child for life as an adult, develop in the child respect for human rights and develop the child's respect for his or her own cultural values, both as regards the country in which the child is living, and for those different from his/her own.
After having read these two clear, specific and deliberate articles, one might think that everything has been said and done. However, the reality of our world is quite different.
How many people in the world are illiterate ?
Estimates tell us that at the beginning of the 21st century, almost one billion humans cannot read or write. If we examine this figure more closely, we know that 1 billion = one thousand million persons of which more than 100 million are children of school age !
Why is access to education so important ?
Because education is one's point of access to a world which offers more respect and opportunities, where one is given more chances and possibilities as regards all aspects of life, including :
Numerous studies have evidenced that education level and child mortality are integrally linked, such that as the first increases, the second decreases. Similarly, the higher the education of a girl-child, the more capable she will be of exercising control over her own fertility as an adult. Therefore the education of girl children effectively helps to combat the world's overpopulation and the starvation of so many. Most generally speaking, the state of health of a population is directly correlated to its level of education.
Indeed, the health practices and knowledge that are learned at school are fundamental : from a basic understanding of hygiene to nutrition and physical exercise, to knowledge of the prevention of pandemics such as AIDS which, in 2007, killed over 300,000 children in Africa !
The fact that so many innocent victims are killed by a disease the means of transmission of which are perfectly understood evidences that current means of prevention and information are still greatly insufficient.
The right to a decent standard of life
A child that is deprived of a good education will have much more difficulty locating a professional activity which allows him to lead a normal life and to properly protect and raise a family. In most cases, he or she will be forced to accept work that is poorly paid, with no possibility for advancement often even very dangerous work.
Many children in poor countries do not go to school because they instead work from a very young age. Ironically, in so doing, they gravely compromise their only chances to escape from poverty. Often, they do little more than reproduce the patterns of their parents who, also lacking an education, are unable to support their children, and instead require that they work as to earn their keep.
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