Children are entitled to an education which will enable them to attain their full potential.
Parents have the primary responsibility to educate their children. They are the first and foremost educators of their children, and the family is the first educative ‘school’ or ‘community’ to which children belong.
“Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children”(The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, clause 3, article 26).
As a result of the importance of the school in a child’s education, parents have the right and duty to choose schools which they consider best suit their children’s schooling requirements.
Parents are entitled to exercise their right of choice of schooling for their children without financial or other disability being imposed on them or on their children by any Government.
Schools exist to help parents discharge their educational responsibilities, and there should be harmony between the philosophy and values of the home and those of the school.
Governments, as protectors of the rights of citizens, should assist and encourage, not restrict, parents’ exercise of their right to choose schools which they consider best suit their children’s needs.
As a result of their fundamental obligation to protect and promote the rights of all citizens, Governments have responsibilities in relation to schooling for all children, not just for those attending government schools.
The child, not the school, should be the focus for the allocation of public funds for schooling.
A Basic Funding Entitlement, calculated as a percentage of the total per capita recurrent cost of schooling in government schools, is a real implementation of the parents’ right of choice of school and the right of every child to an equitable share of public funds for schooling.
For students who are experiencing specified educational disadvantages, their schooling costs should be assessed and more public funds made available, in addition to their Basic Funding Entitlement.
Governments should acknowledge and support the valuable role of the family in society, and parents in the learning partnerships with schools.