Unit 2 – Law at school

Law at school

The right to education is a fundamental pillar in the structuring of society, acting as a set of rules and regulations that govern relations in the field of education. Without it, social cooperation in the educational context would be compromised by the absence of clear standards. It aims to guarantee equitable access to quality education for all individuals and to guide society towards achieving its educational goals.

In this second unit, we will therefore explore the legal framework surrounding the right to education, and look at the historical development of the Convention on the Rights of the Child to find out how we got here.

Human Rights

Human rights received renewed attention in the wake of the atrocities of the Second World War, prompting the world community to agree on universal human rights standards.
Despite the long history of human rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is the governing legal document today, was only adopted and proclaimed in 1948, making it a relatively recent development. Since then, international agreements have been reached on other important human rights instruments, such as the European Convention on Human Rights (1950) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1990).

In law, human rights are ethical principles or standards that define the characteristics of the human situation and the dignity that accompanies us from birth to death. They are also, universally and indelibly, the property of all. They advocate respect, equality, freedom, justice and peace in the world.

The Rights of the Child

Just as parents have rights, children also have rights that must be respected and protected. These rights are essential to ensure the safety and well-being of children, while giving them a voice in society. To guarantee the protection of these rights, governments around the world have drawn up specific legal documents, which are similar to international laws and agreements that countries undertake to respect.

The right to education in EU

Welcome to the Podcast: Law in Everyday Life, The right of children to education within the European Union. We already presented in the previous unit the history of the fundamental rights of Child, its origins and how they evolved. Now we will discover more about the right to education and how it has changed the lives of young people in the European Union. Stay with us, we promise it will interest you!

But what about the right of the child to education within the European Union?

In the European Union, the right to education of children is a priority. All children have the right to go to school and receive a quality education, regardless of their background or situation. This means that the governments of EU member states must ensure that children have access to free education tailored to their needs.

However, some disparities remain prevalent among the different member states:

The first is financial accessibility: In some EU countries, school supplies, uniforms, and tuition fees can be a financial burden for low-income families, thus limiting access to education. For example, in Romania, many families struggle to pay tuition fees and supplies, leading to high dropout rates.

The second disparity is the inclusion of children with disabilities: Although many EU countries have inclusion policies, the reality may be different. For example, in Greece, children with disabilities may still be excluded from the traditional education system due to a lack of resources and training for teachers.

The third disparity is reflected in regional inequalities: Inequalities in resources available for education can exist not only between EU countries but also within countries. For example, in Spain, there are significant disparities in funding and educational infrastructure between rich and poor regions, which can affect the quality of education.

And the fourth and last disparity for today is adaptation to digital education: While some EU countries are investing heavily in digital education, others may be lagging behind. For example, Scandinavian countries like Finland are ahead in integrating digital technologies into classrooms, while other EU countries, such as Greece or Bulgaria, may lack resources and expertise to effectively implement digital education.

In summary, even though we have made progress in the right direction, ensuring that every child can go to school and receive education adapted to the times remains a challenge in the European Union. The Convention on the Rights of the Child provides an important framework, but it is up to the member states to implement it consistently and comprehensively. So let’s continue to hope for a future where all children can enjoy a quality education.

Thank you for joining us on this exploration of education in the EU!

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