Stafford Loan Justice

Philosophically Speaking: A Right to Education

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) outlines a right to education in Article 26. This “right to education” sets forth the notion of compulsory elementary education; the International Convenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (1976) however, expands on the right to education via Article 13, and leaves room for a right of continuing and graduate education especially through the following principles:

2. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize that, with a view to achieving the full realization of this right:

(b) Secondary education in its different forms, including technical and vocational secondary education, shall be made generally available and accessible to all by every appropriate means, and in particular by the progressive introduction of free education;

(c) Higher education shall be made equally accessible to all, on the basis of capacity, by every appropriate means, and in particular by the progressive introduction of free education;

4. No part of this article shall be construed so as to interfere with the liberty of individuals and bodies to establish and direct educational institutions, subject always to the observance of the principles set forth in paragraph I of this article and to the requirement that the education given in such institutions shall conform to such minimum standards as may be laid down by the State.

Isn’t part of the right of education having access to affordable student loans? Moreover,

“Education ‘creates the ‘voice’ through which rights can be claimed and protected, and without education people lack the capacity to ‘achieve valuable functionings as part of the living’. If people have access to education they can develop the skills, capacity and confidence to secure other rights” (Right to Education Project, “Defining the right to education,” paragraph 2).

Based on this philosophy, can the right to education and corresponding student loan inflation through capitalization be characterized as an economic justice issue?


Written by S.

April 24, 2010 at 9:30 pm