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Les principes

Article 27 of the Spanish Constitution of 1978 outlines the main principles concerning education. Its main provisions are :

 Everyone is entitled to education. Freedom of instruction is recognized.
 Education shall have as its objective the full development of the human character compatible with respect for the democratic principles of co-existence and for the basic rights and freedoms.
 The public authorities guarantee the right of parents to ensure that their children receive religious and moral instruction that is in accordance with their own convictions.
 Elementary education (general básica) is compulsory and free.
 The public authorities guarantee the right of everyone to education (...).
 The right of individuals and legal entities to set up teaching establishments is recognized, provided they respect Constitutional principles.
 The public authorities shall inspect and standardize the educational system in order to guarantee compliance with the law.
 The public authorities shall give aid to teaching establishments which meet the requirements laid down by the law.

The general philosophy of this text is clear. Education, the foundation of the development of human personalities, is a right in the same way as the other fundamental rights decreed in the Constitution and must be developed in the respect of those rights, especially when it comes to ideological freedom and freedom of belief.
According to these terms, all citizens have a right to an education ; it is the responsibility of the State to give them the possibility. Thus, in the philosophy of the new State, a pluralist and democratic one, the State’s obligation must lead to rights such as choosing the type of education and bringing it into compliance with ones beliefs, as well as the right that each student should have to receive spiritual instruction that is in accordance with their personal convictions.
Insofar as we are in a system of cooperation and not separation, the State is responsible for providing the possibility to exercise freedom of conscience within State schools. However, the State’s task is also a mission of control in the application of the law (regarding the observance of freedoms, for example) and educational measures that it has elaborated, for the entire educational system. This results in a right to inspection and approval, to which the granting of financial aid is subjected.
This situation is a complete break from the situation at the time of Franco’s rule. At that time, according to the Concordat of 1953, all forms of instruction were to be in keeping with Catholic dogma and morality, and instruction of the Catholic religion was obligatory unless proof of non-affiliation to Catholicism could be proven.

D 13 septembre 2012    AClaude Proeschel

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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