I received the following email inquiry from a law student on the other side of the world.
I am a Nigerian student currently in my penultimate level into a five-year law degree programme.
I was recently given a task to speak on radio about the topic: ‘Education: Right or Privilege?’ I decided to do a little bit of research online and I subsequently stumbled upon your article* wherein you argued that learning is a privilege; not a right.
I must confess that I was literally taken aback because over here, we all believe learning to be a God-given right, equal in status to an individuals’ right to life. I had earlier decided to take that view but it seems your argument was more convincing. I now entertain some ounces of doubt as to the position to take.
Thus I humbly wish to ask if you could from your argument, clarify whether it could be seen the other way round that learning could be a right also or it is just a privilege and nothing more.
I hope to hear from you soon.
As creatures of the Living God, we must focus on our responsibilities rather than our rights. The only thing fallen man has right to is hell!
When education (or anything else for that matter) is deemed a right, the focus goes from God (where it belongs) to man.
To glorify God and find our calling within the context of His creation, we should pursue those things His law-word commands us to do. When viewed this way, self-control, self-discipline, and self-government become what we should strive for.
I hope this clarifies my point.
God commands us to teach our children. Thus, education is an important and necessary part of family life. Teaching is a vital duty that obedient parents fulfill, and learning is the responsible action of obedient children. When we alter that dynamic, and allow the state to overstep its jurisdictional bounds by claiming that education is a right, we set the stage for tyranny.
Those who embrace their duties, rather than focus on their supposed rights, are better able to seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness!
- This article referenced in this letter is an essay that appears in my book Lessons Learned from Years of Homeschooling.