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More often than not, education has been taken to mean the process, through which individuals get their behaviors changed. Each and every child, teenager and even adult ought to be presented with an opportunity to benefit from the education occasions that have been crafted to satisfy his/her needs educationally. However, compulsory education is actually a part of this formal education, which is considerably more crucial. It calls for the individual to be availed with education within a specific time frame with certain time intervals (Fyfe 10). It is a legal expression, under which the individual is supposed to be educated in the designated education institutions until he or she attains a certain age. Compulsory education is a prerequisite of the law and the age bracket involved in it varies from one country to the other. Compulsory education, customarily abbreviated as CE, has two principal objectives. Firstly, CE is availed to children as a collective nucleus of knowledge, aimed at providing a strong basis for further education and training in preparation of these children for an economy that is knowledge-based. The second objective is that compulsory education promotes a common educational experience that will be paramount in the building of both national identity and cohesion (Leiten 15). Compulsory education eliminates child labor and promotes the economical wellbeing of the society and the child as an individual; therefore, authorities should undertake measures to implement it.
Both in the past and the present, compulsory education has proved to be essential in doing away with child labor. Over a lengthy period of time, child labor has been an issue that has raised many questions with respect to the educational rights of the children. This paper aims at highlighting the significance of universal basic education to students in efforts to rescue them from child labor. As per the provisions of the international law, each and every child is entitled to free and compulsory education. On the other hand, statistics show that those children who have been excluded from education form the largest percentage of those who have been engaged in various forms of labor (Armitage et al. 23). It is for this reason that this paper addresses the importance of compulsory education in fighting child labor. Elaborately, general compulsory education, which winds up as the children reach the minimum employment age, is a preventive measure to child labor. In addition, good quality education avails various avenues for development of the children by widening up the options that these children have even past the compulsory education, besides playing the paramount role of raising the child in a protected environment (Fyfe 17). In so doing, the children are put on the right track with consideration of the future world of career and employment.
Compulsory education has proven to be effective in bringing to a halt child labor. For instance, Britain has of late recorded a drop in its 10-14 years old employees in the labor market, following the introduction of this compulsory education. It is, therefore, evidenced that compulsory education has had a displacement effect on the time allocation of the children. In the event that these children are schooling, employers are actually not in a position to engage them into working for the most hours of the day. Notably also, the enforcement of their attendance to school is easier as compared to the institution and implementation of minimum employment age laws. The introduction of compulsory education has been pivotal in helping in the re-definition of childhood. It has actually been understood to be a policy instrument, utilized by governments to effectively take out children from the labor force (Leiten 25). Besides being freed from child labor, there are also other benefits that the society will stand to benefit from this compulsory education such as reduction in truancy, juvenile crimes, minimal or no cases of premature pregnancies as well as lower rate of at-risk behaviors (Fyfe 47).
If viewed through a macroeconomic lens, child labor and compulsory education are mutual, in that one is a cause and the other is a rescuer, respectively, of underdevelopment and poverty. Compulsory education is the principal investment for economic development. Moreover, the human capital framework forms the principal economic benefit. This is because the absolute replacement of child labor with universal education enhances productivity capacity (Armitage et al. 34). It is, thus, clear that child labor impedes development since, when these minors are hired; it means that it is inevitable that the subsequent generation of the workforce will be made up of less well educated and unskilled laborers. Both economic development and education means the expansion of human capability to more individual’s freedom and choice. As thus, the denial of compulsory education and the subsequent engagement of children into labor deter this freedom since it is via both free and compulsory education that the greatest percentage of the minors can be taken away from the torture that child labor stands for (Fyfe 27).
From a human rights perspective, the rationale of economic development in favor of elimination of child labor and universal compulsory education is embraced. In addition to this, education is perceived of not as a means but an end. As thus, a child’s right or even human’s right to compulsory education is very crucial since it plays the multiplier role in facilitating other human rights. Education is actually a liberation right. Owing to this fact, therefore, governments are obliged to institute suitable approaches, which will improve and enhance compulsory education as a central element of their national strategy (Armitage et al. 55). Moreover, these central governments ought to be responsible of availing the basic infrastructure, required for compulsory education; which includes teacher training, course of study, guaranteed funding as well as appraisal of the academic ability. In addition to these, the central governments are under obligation to guarantee the various compulsory education fundamentals such as high standards, equal opportunity and unrestricted educational services. These will ensure that not a single thing will be able to compromise compulsory education, which is the society’s bedrock. Another prerequisite is the implementation of reforms that will decentralize authority and at the same time avail a superior freedom of choice and autonomy to both schools and municipalities. Such may include the transfer of authority over class composition and personnel structure to municipalities (Leiten 30).
It is of great importance for stakeholders to adhere the statutory prerequisites that have been put in place with regard to compulsory education. For instance, it is the obligation of every parent, caregiver, guardian or any other person on whom the custody of the child is bestowed upon, to ensure that any child between the age of six and sixteen years attends school regularly. Likewise, other policies, laws and procedures, which have been legally instituted as pertains to compulsory education, ought to be respected to the latter (Armitage et al. 65).
In conclusion, therefore, theoretical insights can be derived from the above discussion that there is a need to pay keen attention to the operational apparatus that are necessary for ensuring that compulsory education, as a part of child labor elimination strategy, is effectively implemented. Besides children being freed from child labor, compulsory education ensures society has a skilled workforce, which boosts economic performance. Making children undergo compulsory education also makes them liberated as they gain powerful education.
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