Family Education or State Education? Theoretical and Legal Reflections
The author, in the perspective of the eternal law of nature and the contemporary protection of human rights, tries to find the answer to the question concerning the educational environment of a human being and the entities which are responsible for making this process successful. In order to do this, the author first analyzes the nature of education by defining the semantic substance of this concept as shaping of a human being’s humanity, that is forming and improving one’s integral and healthy personality. He then analyzes education in a family and concludes that the family is historically the prime and theoretically an irreplaceable structure for the integral development of each child, and has been accepted by the vast majority of modern states in the international agreements concerning the protection of human rights. Therefore, it is the family that has the legitimacy for children’s education, particularly when it comes to moral and religious education. Finally, the author reflects on the role of the state in the process of education. He emphasizes that the state, in accordance with the principle of democracy, should serve both the family and the individual, in order to secure those goods which exceed their capabilities. To this end, the state should help the family achieve its natural educational objective by providing good legislation and proper administration, particularly at the level of school education. However, when a generative family is not present or it is a seriously dysfunctional one, the state should secure a substitute educational environment for children by taking legal action.
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