“The Right to Education and Equal Educational Opportunities: Ideological Approaches and Conceptual Clarifications.”
In order to be in a position to identify the ideological and political factors that have shaped public political and unionist rhetoric on ‘the right to education’ and the various educational policies during the last twenty years, one needs, first, to clarify the concepts in question. The conception of the social right to education has emerged via the development of the various political theories on civil rights and is, therefore, closely connected with the ideological and conceptual characteristics of those theories. This led, during the first decades after the 1950’s, to the interpretation of United Nations’ Article 13 of the International Covenant on economic, social and cultural rights in such a way as to minimize, through an ideological compromise, the commonly accepted prerequisites for a satisfactory allowance of the right to education. Respectively, the philosophical investigations into the conceptions of liberty and equality, and the parallel expansion of the welfare state, have led to the various accounts of the concept of ‘equality of educational opportunity’. This was a result of the several ideological approaches and of the sincere philosophical effort to clarify the concepts in question. This continuous scientific investigation, by assessing and evaluating its finds, produced, eventually, a broad notion of the concept of equality of educational opportunity that is accordingly defined by its aspiring goals.This paper attempts to set out the research framework of public political and unionist rhetoric on the right to education and equal educational opportunities, taking into account the political circumstances that have been formulated in Greece after its accession into the E.U. and the inevitable opening of Greek society to the European political theories and ideological movements.