Right to education

Source: Jordan Times

December 29, 2008

There is no more basic human right than the right to education. When it comes to educating girls, the importance of this right becomes all the more vital.

In a recent speech at the Education for All summit held in Oslo, Norway, Her Majesty Queen Rania echoed these views in a most eloquent manner. She demanded that educating girls become a priority for the international community.

It is often said that educating a man means educating one person, but educating a woman is equivalent to educating a whole family.

Last month, three girls going to school in Kabul, Afghanistan, were attacked by a Taliban supporter who sprayed their faces with battery acid. The only fault of the victims of that barbarous attack was daring to go to school to seek basic education.

The Taliban, a misguided Muslim grouping, believe that girls should stay in the dark ages and be denied even elementary education. Fortunately, very few Muslims subscribe to the view that girls and women should be deprived of education and, instead, remain sheltered behind the walls of their homes.

Practically all Muslim and Arab countries now have in place a policy of free and compulsory primary education.

As a result of being allowed to expand their horizon through education, girls and women have started to excel in all domains.

Universal education is close at hand in most developing countries, including, of course, the Arab world. It, however, is never complete unless it is proper, enlightened and respects human rights. The last thing humanity needs is wrong education, especially the kind that preaches hatred, discrimination and disrespect for the dignity of all human beings.

Let’s therefore educate everybody, girls included, but let’s also make sure that it is the right kind of education. Education must make all human beings, irrespective of race, ethnic or national origin, free from all forms of bondage, whether intellectual or physical.