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This was in contrast to liberal theory at the time, which regarded non-state actors as the prime providers of education.
According to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the right to education includes the right to free, compulsory primary education for all, an obligation to develop secondary education accessible to all in particular by the progressive introduction of free secondary education, as well as an obligation to develop equitable access to higher education in particular by the progressive introduction of free higher education.
The right to education also includes a responsibility to provide basic education for individuals who have not completed primary education.
States also became involved in the legal regulation of curricula and established minimum educational standards.
In On Liberty John Stuart Mill wrote that an "education established and controlled by the State should only exist, if it exists at all, as one among many competing experiments, carried on for the purpose of example and stimulus to keep the others up to a certain standard of excellence." Liberal thinkers of the nineteenth century pointed to the dangers to too much state involvement in the sphere of education, but relied on state intervention to reduce the dominance of the church, and to protect the right to education of children against their own parents.
It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children." In Europe, Article 2 of the first Protocol of 20 March 1952 to the European Convention on Human Rights states that the right to education is recognized as a human right and is understood to establish an entitlement to education.Instead the constitution protected the rights of citizens to found and operate schools and to provide home education.The constitution also provided for freedom of science and teaching, and it guaranteed the right of everybody to choose a vocation and train for it.In the latter half of the nineteenth century, educational rights were included in domestic bills of rights.The 1849 Paulskirchenverfassung, the constitution of the German Empire, strongly influenced subsequent European constitutions and devoted Article 152 to 158 of its bill of rights to education.With the French and American Revolution, education was established also as a public function.It was thought that the state, by assuming a more active role in the sphere of education, could help to make education available and accessible to all.The 1960 UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education defines education in Article 1(2) as: "all types and levels of education, (including such) access to education, the standard and quality of education, and the conditions under which it is given." In this sense education refers to the transmission to a subsequent generation of those skills needed to perform tasks of daily living, and further passing on the social, cultural, spiritual and philosophical values of the particular community.The wider meaning of education has been recognised in Article 1(a) of UNESCO's 1974 Recommendation concerning Education for International Understanding, Co-operation and Peace and Education relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.The framework also places duties on other stakeholders in the education process: the child, which as the privileged subject of the right to education has the duty to comply with compulsory education requirements, the parents as the ‘first educators’, and professional educators, namely teachers.In Europe, before the Enlightenment of the eighteenth and nineteenth century, education was the responsibility of parents and the church.