Democracy, as a way of life and not a more political arrangement, requires of its adherents a regard not only for their own rights but equally for the similar rights for others. It is based on the principle of equal freedom and equal rights for all its members, regardless of race, religion, sex, occupation or economic status. Education is the great instrument of social emancipation by which a democracy establishes, maintains and protests the spirit of equality among its members. If we develop the social temper of democracy, we will have confidence in one another. We will allow freedom of conscience to others likewise ourselves are competent to work out their own salvation.
Equal opportunity does not mean identical opportunity for all. It means the equal availability of education for every qualified person. Our system must provide for every young person education to the extent that he can profit from it, and character best designed to assure the maximum development of his nature. It must, of curse, recognize differences of gifts and interest. Education confined to those who come from nobility or professional classes is suited to a society built on economic and social hierarchy of classes. In a democratic soicety the opportunity of learning must be open not only to an elite but also to those who have to carry the privilege and responsibility of citizenship. Education is a universal right , not a class privilege.
The education attainment of our people is far below what is necessary for effective individuals living or for the satisfactory maintenance of society. For the great majority of our boys and girls the kind and amount of education they may hope get depends not on their own abilities but on the economic status of their family or the accident of their birth.
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