Universal Education

Bahá’ís place great importance on education.The acquisition of knowledge, Bahá’u’lláh says, serves as “wings” for humanity’s “ascent,” and thus “is incumbent upon everyone.”1 Knowledge plays a central role in human life and society: It is the process of generating and applying knowledge that lies at the heart of civilization. The advancement of society flows from it. In light of this teaching, theUniversal House of Justice, in a statement on peace addressed to the peoples of the world, made the following declaration:

The cause of universal education, which has already enlisted in its service an army of dedicated people from every faith and nation, deserves the utmost support that the governments of the world can lend it. For ignorance is indisputably the principal reason for the decline and fall of peoples and the perpetuation of prejudice. No nation can achieve success unless education is accorded all its citizens. Lack of resources limits the ability of many nations to fulfill this necessity, imposing a certain ordering of priorities. The decision-making agencies involved would do well to consider giving first priority to the education of women and girls, since it is through educated mothers that the benefits of knowledge can be most effectively and rapidly diffused throughout society. In keeping with the requirements of the times, consideration should also be given to teaching the concept of world citizenship as part of the standard education of every child.2

* Adapted from Bahá’í Topics, an information resource produced by the Bahá’í International Community.