Education as Human Rights

Honestly, I’m not quite familiar with human rights term. In general I know that human rights defined as rights inherent to all human beings simply just because of we are human. We are equally entitle to our human rights without discrimination, whether those are nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, religion, language or any other status.

For today Blog Action Day, I would like to choose education. This is not because of I’m a teacher of practitioner at education sector, or something like that. No, I’m far from that. I choose education simply because this is one way to improve someone’s quality of life.

Education is including in the terms of human rights, which means every body has the same right to be educated. Every body has the same right to get formal or informal education. As stated at Universal Declaration Human Rights 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.

If based on Indonesia Law No 39 Year 1999 about Human Rights article 60 :

  1. Every child has right to get education and teaching in order to improve self-development based on their interest, talent, and level of intelligence.
  2. Every child has right to looking for, accept and giving information based on their level of intellectual and age for their self-development as long as appropriate with values of decency.

In order to fulfill mandate of the law above, I believe government have put their effort to provide the best education system.  The fund allocated for education exclude the salary of the educator and the cost of service education is minimum 20% from APBN (Anggaran Pendapatan dan Belanja Negara – Country Revenue and Expenditure Budget) from education sector and minimum 20% from APBD (Anggaran Pendapatan dan Belanja Daerah – Regional Revenue and Expenditure Budget) (Indonesia Law No. 20 Year 23 about National Education System article 49 clause 1).  For APBN 2013, the budget for education is for about Rp 336,8 billion increase twice from 2007’s budget (Indonesia Law No. 19 Year 2012 about APBN 2013).

Those amount are for sure a quite big amount. Of course we hope that with those amount of budget, free school fee at least for elementary and fundamental stages are able to be implemented at Indonesia in general.  I know that some school had been implemented fee tuition for students. It will help the non wealthy children to get good education.

But if this is really free, then why still a lot of children out there at Indonesia are not able to go to school, even only for elementary / fundamental stages ? Are there any other cost charge to the students which the non-wealthy student are can’t take the burden to pay it and they have to quit ? Or the mistakes are lies at the parents and the children themselves, for their mindset which assume that education is not important ? Or perhaps, those are due to limited facilities or limited access to reach the education facilities ?

The increment of education fund not automatically solve the problems lies in the educational sector at Indonesia. There are many works to do, not only for the government but to all people which is concern to education, to ensure that all children, especially at Indonesia, get education.

No need to do a big things if you can’t. Just do a simple thing but you can continuously do that. It will help a lot instead of doing one big things then gone. If you have spare time, perhaps you can be freelance educator for non-wealthy children. If you have spare fund, perhaps you can donate it to an organization which support education for non-wealthy children.  Many things we can do as long as we want to do some actions for them who need education.

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