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Right to Education – Introduction




Article 26.
(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.

(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. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.


Education is a fundamental human right and an essential factor for the fulfilment of other rights. Educating girls and boys and enabling them to develop their full potential as people to lead a full and productive life is the primary responsibility of every society. The benefits of education are not exhausted in those who receive them, but extend to society as a whole and affect many different dimensions of progress, empowerment and collective well-being.

In this module we will concentrate on understanding the importance of education as a Human Right for all people and on what we understand as quality of education.

“All the well-being of Christianity and of the whole world depends on the proper education of youth” – Pedro de Ribadeneira SJ, 1556, writing to Philip II, King of Spain on behalf of St. Ignatius of Loyola

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