Famous quotes explained: « Education is given by the family; instruction is owed by the state. », Victor Hugo, Words and deeds, 1876.
This famous quote by Victor Hugo is taken from his political thoughts collection Word and deeds, (Actes et Paroles). Built around a parallelism, it distinguishes between education and instruction. The former is given by parents, elevates and grows a child. It can also include instruction, but it is also the transmission of family values, social rules (such as politeness), and a way of life. Instruction focuses on knowledge, understanding, and learning. It shapes the mind, culture, and body (military training), as well as citizenship. To educate is to elevate, to instruct is to form.
For Hugo, education is given by the family and therefore depends on families. It does not have a defined perimeter or mandatory nature. It varies depending on the family environment. Conversely, the state must provide instruction. It is an obligation from which it cannot escape. For the author, instruction becomes a mission. The state and society owe it to their youth: instruction.
We can clearly see Hugo’s commitment here, who fought many battles: against the death penalty, against the despotism of Napoleon III, and also against poverty, from which only education can save. He is part of the debate of the time on national education, on public instruction. This will take effect in 1881 with the laws of Jules Ferry that made the school secular and mandatory up to thirteen years of age at the time. The state must now provide instruction to children.
The studied quote finally echoes another formula of Hugo: « Open schools, you will close prisons. » His faith in education has remained unshakable throughout his life. It is obviously also a faith in the Republic.
Another famous quotes explained: Famous Quotes explained: « One person is missing, and everything is depopulated. » Méditations poétiques, « L’Isolement », Lamartine, 1820. Famous quotes explained: « To love is to know how to say ‘I love you’ without speaking. » Victor Hugo
In French: Citations audio-podcast: « L’éducation, c’est la famille qui la donne; l’instruction, c’est l’État qui la doit. », Hugo.
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