President of the Federation of East African Teachers’ Unions – FEATU
An understanding of the right for the entire human kind to live with the required decencies of living calls for an extension of the understanding and practice of human rights to quality education for all.
The belief in human rights as per the UN UDHR Article 26 of the year 1948 is therefore, incomplete without inclusion of human rights to education as an integral part of holistic human rights. This is because the decencies of lives which are basic human rights are dependent on human access to quality education. It is the access to quality education with aspired relevance for all which is instrumental to making decent human lives much as it is designed, facilitated, obtained and used towards helping the learner and those who surround him/her enjoy decent living in all aspects i.e social, economic, cultural and political realities.
The above being true, then the right to live and the right to education for all are inseparable; rather they are intertwined entities that all human beings have the right to enjoy regardless of gender, age, social class, and place of origin, race and any other kind of ethnicity. This then calls for access to free quality education not only in theory but more importantly in meaningful practical terms. For education to be meaningful it should be linked to contextual and cultural realities of the beneficiaries for improving their lives. However, aspirations for access to quality education for all as a human right; a catalyst for other forms of human rights, teachers-the custodians of knowledge must be equally enhanced to facilitate access to quality education provision hand-in-hand with assurance of teachers’ qualifications and improved working and living conditions.
With all above in mind, it is therefore imperative and urgently obligatory indeed that the UN Declaration for Human Rights as per Article 26 gets amended to include the right to education from early childhood education through primary, secondary to higher education and training. In order to fairly capture the different needs and situations of beneficiaries of the education to be accessed as a human right, consideration should be made not only to formal schooling but it should go beyond it by including non-formal education with appropriateness to lifelong learning much as it becomes functional and problem-solving.
FEATU MEMBER UNIONS
Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) • Syndicat des Travailleurs de L’Enseignement du Burundi (STEB)
Syndicat National deas Enseignants au Rwanda (SNER) •Uganda National Teachers‘ Unions (UNATU)
Tanzania Teachers‘ Unions (TTU) • Zanzibar Teachers‘ Unions (ZATU)
Syndicat des Enseignants et autre personnel de I‘ education
du Secteur prive au Rwanda (SYNEDUC)