Reflective Exercise 5

Consider the following official policy statements on access to education, spanning over 350 years and much of the globe:

‘It is therefore ordered, yet every township in this jurisdiction . . . shall then forthwith appoint one within their town to teach all such children as shall resort to him to write and read, whose wages shall be paid either by ye parents or masters of such children’, Massachusetts Law of 1647 in the English Massachusetts Bay Colony.

‘There shall be provided . . . a sufficient amount of accommodation in public elementary schools, available for all the children whose elementary education . . . efficient and suitable provision is not otherwise made’, the 1870 Education Act in England and Wales.

‘The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to fourteen years in such manner as the State may, by law, determine’, India’s Constitution, written in 1949.

‘By 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling’, the UN’s Millennium Development Goal #2, ratified in 2000.