|2 The right to basic education
2.1 The right to basic education at the international level
The term "basic education” has its origins in the World Declaration on Education for All.3 Basic education de-emphasises the completion of specific formal programmes or certification requirements. Basic education is focused on the content of education, as opposed to the form in which it is conducted, such as formal or informal education.4 In terms of the World Declaration on Education for All (1990) adopted during the World Conference on Education for All in Jomtien, Thailand,5 the focus of basic education should be on actual learning acquisition and outcomes rather than exclusively on enrolment, continued participation in organised programmes, and completion of certification requirements.6 Basic education as a core content of the right to education would therefore include "literacy, numeracy, skills relating to one's health, hygiene and personal care, and social skills such as oral expression and problem solving" as well as some elements of Articles 26(2) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) (hereinafter UDHR), 103(1) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966) (hereinafter ICESCR) and 29 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) (hereinafter CRC).7
Basic education is often equated to primary education. However, while primary education is not universally defined, it is often understood to refer to the first layer of formal schooling,8 which focuses on imparting basic learning skills, including literacy and numeracy.9 Primary education, on the other hand, refers to structured, chronologically graded instruction given in an educational institution.10 This means that there may be points of convergence between primary and basic education, but they are not synonymous.
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