(MENAFN - Arab News) I saw a few columns and letters in Arab News recently debating the issue of education. As we all appreciate, every single child on this planet has a full and undeniable right to have access to decent education.
It has been rightly enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and several other international conventions. In fact, any society that lags in this respect cannot be called a progressive society.
Most of the advanced countries such as the United States, European Union and Japan have ensured that the right to free education does not just remain a charter in their constitutions, but is implemented in true word and spirit. No wonder, over 90 percent of children in these countries go to public schools that employ well qualified and experienced teachers as well as are well equipped with all of the modern tools of education. Unfortunately, in the absence of a robust system that provide for high quality education through public schools, education has become a flourishing business in many countries, especially the so-called developing or Third World countries.
For instance, although, India became 135th country to have enshrined education as a fundamental right in its constitution by promulgating "The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act" in 2010; yet, the standard of education that is imparted at the government schools there is very low. There are thousands of villages where there are either no schools or have schools that lack the very basic amenities and facilities. In urban areas, over 70 percent of the children go to private schools due to very poor standards of education at public schools.
Besides, it is too difficult to get admission in good private or government-aided schools as it requires huge amounts in donations and/or a lot of influence.
The crux of the whole issue is that no child should face discrimination with regard to schooling on account of economical or social status of his parents and that is only possible when public schooling system is fully strengthened in all respects and is made accessible to all.