Twenty years ago, when I was still studying in the university in the Philippines, student activists would always hold marches for protests and shout “Edukasyon, karapatan ng mamamayan”. It literally means education is a right of the people. The question back then is, Is education a right, or a privilege?
I did not come from a well-off family. Safe to say, we just had enough to make ends meet. In fact, that was the main reason why I chose to study in a state university, because that’s the institution my parents can only afford to send me to study. However, despite belonging to such social economic status, I often consider education as a privilege, at least for tertiary education. For primary and secondary schooling, I believe the government should be able to provide free access to education as cited in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and it should focus on subjects/courses that students most likely can utilize later in life. But... here's the BIG BUT, I always believe that the onus of providing full education is on the children's parents. When we become parents, we know the responsibilities that go with it, to provide for our children's needs, including education.
For government, they should formulate and adopt an educational model that will enable learners to apply their learning to practical situations. Educational institutions, regardless whether its private or not, should build into this model and make studies appealing for students and make them see the usefulness of courses being taught in schools. For instance, I remember spending my high school dealing with too much mathematics. I like Math, but I cannot see the practical reasons of teaching students with advance mathematics if they choose to pursue a non-mathematics-intensive profession in the future, like those in the social sciences. I like to cite New Zealand again as an example. In New Zealand, high school students are given a menu of courses/subjects that they may like to take, or deem useful to them. Advanced mathematics are offered to those who plan to pursue university studies and take engineering degrees, or courses where intensive calculations are required.
Going back to the original question as to the importance of freedom of education, it primarily relies on government policies that will provide the framework of education system that public and private educational institutions should adhere to. Freedom is absolutely important but access to that freedom is another question.
Similar to the first debate about having a degree or not, the answer to this topic might be different in various societies and the capability of the governments to deliver its services to its people both in educational policy and its fiscal requirements to implement those policies.
Government policies and learning paradigms should evolve with the demands of society, offer practical applications that one can use in their lives, adapt and be able to meet the needs of the ever-changing job market.
That's all for now folks. I hope you learn something from my post. I appreciate your feedback by commenting below.
I apologize for the wrong first tag "splinterlands", I used a template for my Splinterlands post and had not changed the first tag.