Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Navarra
Ciprotti, Pio. ""Spunti comparativi in materia di liberta´d insegnamento"". Persona y Derecho, 6 (1979) : 411-426.
In any study . of the topic of the freedom to create private (non State-run)
schools, we must take two aspects into account: the rigbt which entities and individuals
have lO undertake educative tasks, and the intetest which . those who receive
schooling may have in there being a plurality of educational centers of dif~
ferent types, so that they may thus be able lO · choose that center which best corte~
ponds to their preferences.
The fust aspect, which must be considered within the global context of freedom
of expression, has not yet been fully dea1t with in international agreements. (si:e,
however, ArticIe 13.4 of the International Agreement on Economic, Social and
. Cultural Rights adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December
16th, 1966). Nonetheless, we are dealing here with a right which is recognized
in many constitutions and within the framework of the educational laws of
many States, although it is a1so true that others may deny bis basic right.
With regard lO the second aspect, various international · agreements have recognized
the right of parents lO choose the type of training and schooling they prefer
for their children. This right of election is at times expressed by explicitly mentioning
moral, religious -er, in any case, ideological- training which must respond
to the parents' convictions. Some constitutions have made this point particularly cIear.
On the other hand, in order for this right of election to be truly real, it is not
sufficient that it be legally recognized. There are, in fact, many collateral and derived
problems -which in spite of their apparently secondary nature are no less gravewhich
have to be considered and solved, if we are to hope for the survival, in practice,
of the possibility of election, and to hope for the avoidance of limitations from
outside forces. Thus, for example, the State must insure that the enrolling of a child
in a particular school does not imply sensibly different tuition costs than jf he had
been enrolled in another school. The State must a1so insure that studies undertaken
in different schools (as long as said schools are appropriate) as well as diplomas
granted have the same value before the Law, in the case of those countries in which
school tides have legal validity. The State must a1so see to it that those schools
which possess a particular religious or ideologicaI orientation be allowed to sever its
ties with any professor whose activities ron counter to the aims and purposes of
the school. Some States have fully examined these problerns and have tried to solve
thero in a manner that does not contravene long-standing traditions or exigencies.
Religious bodies also have the same right as secular institutions and individuals
to create and maintaÍn educational centers. Sorne countries even uphold, in their
legislative code, that religious institutions are the most ideally suited lO carry out
educative tasks. Sorne States go as far as to not only permit but also opeuly encourage
religious bodies to carry out educational tasks in schools and indeed in the
course of their ordinary activities.