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Responding to 21st century challenges for decentralizatio

From Educational Freedom to Pedagogical Excellence and from School Autonomy to the Parental Right of Choice

By: EBR - Posted: Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Moreover, without the parental right of choice, autonomy, educational freedom and pedagogical excellence, decentralization is crippled. Its advances remain precarious and can generate a profound disillusionment which threatens decentralization’s own democratic or/and pedagogical foundation.
Moreover, without the parental right of choice, autonomy, educational freedom and pedagogical excellence, decentralization is crippled. Its advances remain precarious and can generate a profound disillusionment which threatens decentralization’s own democratic or/and pedagogical foundation.

by Kostas Gouliamos*

Decentralization of educational system today plays a fundamental role in facilitating development and
improving educational standards of the 21st century. The imminent importance of decentralization is based on
exactly chief pillars which must be well positioned to improve how resources are used and citizen (students
and parents) needs are satisfied.

Within this framework, experts, professionals and authorities of education have more and more responsibilities
in responding to chief pillars such as Educational Freedom, Parental Right of Choice Pedagogical Excellence,
and School Autonomy.

However, if the responsibilities are growing, the pale of decentralization available to ensure these
responsibilities is often inadequate due to the low level - in most European countries - of school autonomy as
well as to the eclipse of the parental right of choice.

Moreover, without the parental right of choice, autonomy, educational freedom and pedagogical excellence,
decentralization is crippled. Its advances remain precarious and can generate a profound disillusionment
which threatens decentralization’s own democratic or/and pedagogical foundation.

In view of this, close collaboration and innovative institutional arrangements are needed to provide policies or
reforms contained by the content and context of decentralization as the transfer of decision-making authority
closer to the education user or beneficiary.

* Rector of the European University of Cyprus

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