Of rigth to education and of its circumstance: thougths on education in democracy and its obstacles

Paulo Ferreira da Cunha


The right to education is not only a constitutionally stipulated right and a positive fundamental right. It is also a natural right, arising from the nature of things (natura rerum) as well as from the vital need of person perfectioning. However, unlike some rights conceived as mere prerogatives directly ascribed to beneficiaries with virtually no obstacles or refractions, the right to education, due to its nature, needs, in order to be effective, an enabling environment as well as mediators: not merely the educational means, such as family, media and school, but also people who desire to be active holders of this right. This article focuses on various aspects which contextualise this “circumstance”, as Ortega would say, of this singular right, which demands so much action, not only from the State and from the educational and cultural sectors, but also, and most importantly, from the citizens understood as subjects and not objects of education. It is intended, therefore, to think originally of the right to education and its protagonists, without complications, political prejudices or politically and educationally correct prejudgments. Additionally, the intention is to think about the difficulties still remaining even in democratic contexts.


Education; right to education; democracy

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