Should schools come with a warning sign? : indoctrination at school and the right to quality education
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This thesis intends to question the common presumption that education is “good” for children. It draws the attention to the possibility of indoctrination at school and examines how this relates to the right to education and, in particular,to quality education. A conceptual and legal analysis of all relevant concepts is made; education, quality education and indoctrination. The scope of the research is limited to the sphere of the Council of Europe and it thus examines how the matter of indoctrination is dealt with under the European Convention on Human Rights. An overview of case law by the European Court on cases of alleged indoctrination is made, to clarify what the Court’s position is and what the states’ obligations are in this regard. Subsequently, an assessment of indoctrination is made in the light of the requirement of quality education. The Committee of Ministers has drafted a recommendation on how quality education is to be understood and respected by states. As a case study for this assessment, the historical example of Nazi indoctrination through the education system is used as a touchstone. The work concludes that indoctrination can never constitute quality education and that it therefore always violates the right to education. For that reason, more attention should be devoted to the topic in the future.