Education has been formally recognized as a human right since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. This has since been affiimed in numerous global human rights treaties, […] [which] establish an entitlement to free, compulsory primary education for all children; an obligation to develop secondary education, supported by measures to render it accessible to all children, as well as equitable access to higher education; and a responsibility to provide basic education for individuals who have not completed primary education (UNESCO and UNICEF, 2007: 7)
This question brings out the existence of an implicit ranking among rights – some rights are more important than others and should take priority. The discussion above on the weighting of levels of education refl ects this. Most would agree that the more education an individual takes, the better for both the individual and the society in which he or she lives. Nonetheless, there are different views and practices on where society’s obligation to enable individuals to continue pursuing their right to education tapers off and individuals’ obligations to fend for themselves increase (Oxenham, 2010: 28).