Week 3: Philosophical Background

Access to informationIn the globalised world we live in information is becoming more accessible and more important. Technology is levelling the playing field allowing connections and participation that could not even have been dreamt of thirty years ago. But information is only the first step on the way to knowledge, as knowledge is only the first step towards an education. Education: a human right

According to article 26 of the Declaration of Human Rights

(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.Education is necessary for sustainable social and economic development and opens up possibilities for leading healthy and productive lives, participation in civic and political affairs and protecting rights. Education is an important tool for empowerment. Because of this, education is a basic human right and access to education is central. Who will benefit?If one subscribes to the thinking of the Enlightenment where freedom, democracy and reason were seen as the primary values of society, then one would expect that everyone would ultimately benefit from a world where there is free access to education and information. An essential part of having an educated population is to see that their needs for information are satisfied. The library movement, free adult education and the folk high school movement have all historically played a role. With information technology in general and free software in particular, the possibilities are even greater.Who is afraid of the access and why?In general, people who don’t trust the reasonableness of people to use the tools sensibly and not abuse them. People who find it hard to make a shift in thinking from a traditional economic type of thinking to other ways of working that produce new structures and possibly people involved in education who maybe have made investments in time and money and are wary of not getting a return on their investment could be afraid of access for all. The most obvious group, however, has to be people who for whatever reason want to deny the empowerment of others.Access for all allows for more giants with many more dwarfs on their shoulders! 

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One Response to “Week 3: Philosophical Background”

  1. Peter Rawsthorne Says:

    UNESCO has recently published a report on the Education For ALL (2015) initiative… Progress is good, but will we make it?
    http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0015/001547/154743e.pdf

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