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Summary

Universal education is the right of all to a basic education. Before the industrial revolution in the late 18th century education was a privilege enjoyed by the aristocracy. The industrial revolution brought through a wave of demand for higher educated workers. This led to the realisation for the need of education for all social classes, and hence, national school systems were developed during the 19th century. In Australia, it was estimated in 1810 that only 19% of children in NSW were receiving any education. While women were included in the drive for education, they were not given equal access to secondary and university education. In many countries, legislation was passed to enforce compulsory education in the 20th century. However, many nations have educational standards that remain poor and education beyond reach. Internationally, the need for children to work is a barrier to education (i.e. developing nations). In some countries, small expenses cannot be afforded, hindering access to universal education. Around the world today, 130 million children aged 6-11 still do not have access to education, which mostly comprise of third-world populations. The UN has invested a great deal of money in improving levels of basic education in the world. This right is protected under article 26 (i) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In Australia, this right is protected under the Education Act 1990 NSW. This legislation has enforced the rights of Australian's to education, effectively increasing Australia's literacy rate to 99%.

Explain how the right to universal education has changed and developed over time.
Changing values in the 18th century caused attitudes towards education to change, with the realisation that education was needed for all social classes, thus bringing forward the development of national school systems. Prior to the industrial revolution, little to no education was available to over 80% of global population. Though, thereafter, till present day, the change has brought forth Australia's literacy rate to 99%. This is reinforced by the Education Act 1990 NSW and article 26(i) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, the privilege of free education has not been completely applied to many third world nations, especially in rural areas. At present, one in 3 children in Africa drop out of primary education. Rural and Indigenous groups, even in Australia, are disadvantaged by the difficulty of access to education. These barriers include expenses of education (or the building of educational facilities) and the need for children to work. On average, developing countries spend less than 4.4% of international income on education, which is insufficient to meet requirements to achieve universal education. This lack of government support is one of the critical barriers of nations' access to their right to universal education.