Columnists

Citizens’ right to education should be emphasised

Educational Journey with EPHAT MUDENDA
IN ALL its forms, development begins with education.
And, no doubt, every citizen in the country has a right to education from the lowest to the highest level.
Besides the fact that education helps to improve one’s social and economic status, it also enables people to achieve a level of civilisation which, in turn, makes them to fit in with every other person in a society where peace, love, unity, harmony and tolerance, among other things, must exist for a greater, common good – that is, continuous improvement of communities and people’s livelihoods.
The kind of civilisation brought about by formal education should help people in society to effectively make use of all resources in the land for the improvement of their living standard. And attaining real socio-economic development at household and national levels calls for an exhibition of high moral standards among an educated citizenry.
It is true that high illiteracy levels among people can actually reverse the gains that a nation achieves in its development agenda. Government and other stakeholders, therefore, have a huge role to play in ensuring that the country’s citizens have full access to quality schools and to an education that is directed towards the nation’s socio-economic development as well as individuals’ personal advancement.
All the people in the land, including the youth, should have equal access to quality learning adapted to meet their needs as they progress through the educational ladder. Education is the medium through which learners are trained to be law-abiding, healthy, productive citizens who should effectively participate in various activities aimed at ensuring communities’ progress and engage in work that is rewarding as they turn into adults.
Where there is political will, national leaders should be ready to prudently and equitably distribute the necessary resources in the education sector. Ensuring that good infrastructure and educational material are always in place will surely go a long way in promoting quality education for both learners and those tasked to provide it, the teachers.
People will claim their right to education, both for themselves and their children, based on the premise that their government has a duty to ensure that their human right to acquire knowledge will be exercised without discrimination, regardless of race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, tribe, property, birth or any other status in all corners of the country.
The United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 26, states: “Everyone has the right to education… Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms…” Indeed, it is through education that respect for other rights and freedoms can be fully promoted among citizens.
So, while Government and its partners embark on building infrastructure in various parts of the country from primary to tertiary level, they should also emphasise the fact that education is guaranteed legally for all. And they should show citizens ways through which they can hold the government accountable for any violation or deprivation of this important right.
We should always desire and strive to be an educated nation. It is important that we all pull in one direction towards human, social and economic development. The right to education is fundamental in ensuring lasting peace and sustainable development in the land.
emudenda@daily-mail.co.zm/ ephatm@yahoo.com

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