Education is intrinsically valuable as humankind’s most effective tool for personal empowerment. Education is the most valuable human right because it is integral to and enhances human dignity through knowledge, wisdom and understanding. Education and Training (and Development, whatever the term) is the very prerequisite for an individual to function as a complete human being in today’s world.
Human Rights Day is observed by the international community annually on the 10th December and it commemorates the day, 1948, when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. South Africans celebrate their own Human Rights Day every year. The then new democratic government declared March 21 Human Rights Day to commemorate and honour those who fought for our liberation and the rights we enjoy today. These rights include:
- Equality – everyone is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and benefit of the law.
- Human dignity – everyone has inherent dignity and have their dignity respected and protected.
- Freedom of movement and residence – everyone has a right to freedom of movement and to reside anywhere in the country.
- Language and culture – everyone has the right to use the language and to participate in the cultural life of their choice.
- Life – everyone has the right to life.
Not one of these Human Rights is possible without education, and that makes it undoubtedly the most valuable human right. Education is the building block on which to grow, ensure and enjoy all other human rights.
Education should promote and strengthen human rights
In the UN Declaration of Human Rights, the right to education is listed under Article 26 and consists of three parts:
elementary education should be free and compulsory
education should promote and strengthen human rights
parents have the right to choose the kind of education their children receive.
Triple E Training Holdings (Pty) Ltd’s Managing Director, Lance Clack, believes that it is widely agreed in South Africa that education is the most valuable human right. But he goes on to say, “It’s the quality of the education that still differs from school to school, from region to region and from provider to provider in South Africa”. He believes that if we can get this right then we will no more educational woes at all.
“Accreditation for example, is an excellent standardization of education and training providers. But tenders are still awarded to un-accredited providers. This is just one example. We need to strive to improve the quality and equality. Excellent education is vital for all adult learners (and pupils). Then we we’ll be a winning nation,” says Clack.
Relevant, accredited Adult Education and Training is a Human Right that should be offered to all South Africans.
“Education is an important element in the struggle for human rights. It is the means to help our children and our people rediscover their identity and thereby increase their self respect. Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs only to the people who prepare for it today”