The Justiciability of Right to Free Basic Education Conundrum in Nigeria, South Africa and India: From Obstacle to Miracle

  • Emmanuel Olugbenga Akingbehin University of Lagos
Keywords: Human right; International law; Judicial activism; Fundamental objective


Objectives: The right to free basic education is guaranteed under the national, international and regional laws. While many states protect the right to education in their Constitutions in form of fundamental right, which is enforceable in courts, others, including Nigeria, do so in form of directive principle of the state policy which is perforce, unenforceable. Its non justiciability has constituted an obstacle, making its realization a smokescreen. Implications: A global monitoring report by UNESCO Education for All on sub-sahara Africa indicated that about 33 million children of school age are still not enrolled in school in the region. Nigeria, together with six countries reportedly had more than one million out-of-school children while several million adults are also illiterates. Value: This paper therefore, examined the legal framework for the right to basic education in Nigeria, appraising the applicable domestic, regional and international instruments. The paper also applauded the recent breakthroughs recorded by Nigeria through judicial interventions. The author drew comparative lessons from South Africa and India and consequently proffered recommendations towards the actualization of the said right.


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