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Carolina Ugarte, School of Education and Psychology of the University of Navarra.

The Education in freedom and as a social right

Mon, 16 Nov 2020 11:48:00 +0000 Published in Norte de Castilla, Las Provincias and Diario de Navarra

These days society follows the development of an educational law that is being processed in the congress, and that is accompanied by controversy since last February 15, 2019, when the committee of Ministers approved this project of Organic Law, which modifies the LOE.

From different sectors, discussion is being discussed and, at the same time, its strengths and shortcomings are being pointed out. One of the issues on the table is the freedom of parental choice, a dimension that, together with others mentioned below, integrates the right to Education.

Personally, I am astonished that this freedom is being addressed in a legal reform, since it is already, since 1948 and onwards, protected by the international human rights rules and regulations , as well as by our Constitution, which includes this and other rights extensively.

Specifically, in international regulations, it is recognized in article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, in article 13 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and in article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of 1966.

agreement According to these basic texts, and others drafted subsequently, the right to the Education implies: establishing free primary teaching , guaranteeing the compulsory nature of the teaching, determining its minimum content and respecting the freedom of parents to choose a Education that is in line with their own convictions.

This international rules and regulations also states that the right to Education has a dual social and freedom dimension, and therefore indicates that it is the states that must guarantee its fulfillment. The aforementioned article 13 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights states: "States undertake to respect the liberty of parents to choose for their children schools other than those established by the public authorities". In final, the Education in freedom and the Education as a social right is part of the content of the right to Education.

I believe that, in order to contribute to the improvement and quality of education, rather than focusing on this aspect, it would be necessary to consider other reform and promotion measures educational.

In the first place, I would propose that progress be made in increasing the pedagogical, organizational and management autonomy of educational centers, linking it to accountability. In short, aspects such as decision-making on human, material and financial resources are those that, as a whole, show the capacity for autonomy of these centers.

development The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) points out a deficit in Spanish schools in this area. Likewise, this organization in its reports, among them the PISA program in its successive editions, points out the relationship that exists between the increase of the autonomy of the centers and the improvement of the results of the students. The main argument for promote the school autonomy is that the staff of the center educational is better positioned to adapt its organization to the needs of the students. This organization points out the deficit of autonomy of schools in Spain. Along the same lines is another OECD study, the report TALIS in its latest 2018 edition. By way of example, TALIS points out that 21% of Education Primary schools in Spain have, according to their directors, autonomy to select and hire academic staff. This issue is far from the 90% in Denmark, Belgium, England and Sweden.

On the other hand, it is still a pending subject to elaborate a stable national pact on Education as a result of the pedagogical discussion , centered on the learner and on the ultimate goal of the Education: the integral training of the person . It would be highly recommended that this pact be based on an accurate and effective partnership between the experts in Education, those responsible for the elaboration of educational policies and, last but not least, the families.