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The 1994 National Constitution of Argentina provides that all individuals have the right to teach and learn, according to the laws that regulate the exercise of such right.[1]  It further provides that Congress must enact legislation to provide for general and university education, and adopt laws on the organization and basis of education aimed at national unity and respect for particular provincial and local situations.[2]  Educational legislation must ensure that the state fulfills its responsibility to provide equal access, with no discrimination of any kind, to a free public education; the state must also ensure the autonomy of national universities.[3]

In furtherance of the constitutional mandate, Law 26,206 on National Education was adopted on Dec. 14, 2006, to establish that education is a public asset and an individual and social right guaranteed by the state.[4]  It also provides that public funds assigned to education in the national budget may not be less than 6% of GDP.[5]

Mandatory education runs from four years of age through high school.[6]  However, national and provincial governments must make universal education services available to children at three years of age.[7]  Elementary school must offer full and extended-day education.[8]

Children and adolescents in prisons have the right to education at all levels.[9]  Those who for health reasons cannot attend school at the elementary and secondary level regularly for at least thirty days have the right to education in their home or hospital.[10]

The state must secure the material and cultural conditions for all students to reach good achievement levels of instruction, regardless of their social origin, geographic residence, gender, or cultural identity.[11]

In Argentina, the right to education has a highly developed legal framework and is widely recognized.  As a result, in the 2001–2010 period, Argentina adopted policies that have facilitated access to education, in particular the retention and completion of mandatory education levels.[12]  Despite the law, however, not all individuals or groups can access the right to education or access it in conditions of equality, such as those who attend school in poorer or rural areas.

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Prepared by Graciela Rodriguez-Ferrand
Senior Foreign Law Specialist
May 2016


[1] Constitución de la Nación Argentina art. 14, Boletín Oficial [B.O.], Jan. 10, 1995, http://infoleg.mecon. gov.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/0-4999/804/norma.htm, archived at https://perma.cc/JG7K-VCJR.

[2] Id. art. 75.18.

[3] Id. art. 75.19.

[4] Ley 26.206 de Educación Nacional [Law 26,206 on National Education] art. 2, Dec. 14, 2006, B.O., Dec. 28, 2006, http://www.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/120000-124999/123542/texact.htm, archived at https://perma.cc/ YN34-Z83W.

[5] Id. art. 9.

[6] Id. art. 16.

[7] Id. art. 19.

[8] Id. art. 28.

[9] Id. art. 59.

[10] Id. art. 60.

[11] Id. art. 84.

[12] Ingrid Sverdlick & Rosario Austral, Derecho a la Educación y Situación Educativa de la Población en Argentina.  Una Mirada Panorámica en Base a los Censos 2001 y 2010 [The Right to Education and the Educational Situation of the Population in Argentina.  An Overview Based on the 2001 and 2010 Census], 4(4) Revista Latinoamericana de Educación Comparada 83 (2013), http://www.saece.org.ar/relec/revistas/4/mon6.pdf, archived at https://perma.cc/43RT-JJNX.