"Knowledge is as wings to man's life, and a ladder for his ascent...The knowledge of such sciences, however, should be acquired as can profit the peoples of the earth, and not those which begin with words and end with words..."
"The primary, the most urgent requirement is the promotion of education. It is inconceivable that any nation should achieve prosperity and success unless this paramount, this fundamental concern is carried forward."
"The education and training of children is among the most meritorious acts of humankind..."
"Training in morals and good conduct is far more important than book learning. A child that is cleanly, agreeable, of good character, well-behaved - even though he be ignorant - is preferable to a child that is rude, unwashed, ill-natured, and yet becoming deeply versed in all the science and arts. The reason for this is that the child who conducts himself well, even though he be ignorant, is of benefit to others, while an ill-natured, ill-behaved child is corrupted and harmful to others, even though he be learned. If, however, the child be trained to be both learned and good, the result is light upon light."
"The individual must be educated to such a high degree that he would rather have his throat cut than tell a lie, and would think it easier to be slashed by a sword or pierced with a spear than to utter calumny or be carried away by wrath."
"The most essential thing is that the people must be educated in such a way... that they will avoid and shrink from perpetrating crimes, so that the crime itself will appear to them as the greatest chastisement...Therefore no crimes will be committed."
"Schools must first train their children in the principles of religion.. but this in such a measure that it may not injure the children by resulting in ignorant fanaticism and bigotry."
One of the basic Bahá'í principles is that individuals should investigate truth for themselves. Bahá'ís bring up their children in the knowledge of all religious beliefs so that at the age of 15 they may make their own decision.
"Having one course of education promotes unity among mankind. When all mankind shall receive the same education and the equality of men and women be realized the foundations of warfare will be utterly destroyed."
Bahá'ís believe that there should be a world language and script, chosen or invented, which would be taught in all schools, along with the mother tongue of the region:
"They would, in this way, be acquiring only two languages, one their own native tongue, the other the language in which all the peoples of the world would converse."
"Most important of all is the training of girl children, for these girls will one day be mothers, and the mother is the first teacher of the child."
"Give them (the children) the advantage of every useful kind of knowledge. Let them share in every new and rare and wondrous craft and art. Bring them up to work and strive, and accustom them to hardship. Teach them to dedicate their lives to matters of great import, and inspire them to undertake studies that will benefit mankind."
"...there is.. a difference in the intrinsic or natal capacity of individuals. Nevertheless although capacities are not the same, every member of the human race is capable of education."
"You must sow the seeds of peace in the plastic minds of the children...Envelop them with the atmosphere of peace..."
"A small child who has been taught to think universally can talk with the learned."
Bahá'ís believe that humanity has a glorious future. As education becomes universal and spiritually based, surprising results will follow. The Bahá'í writings say that:
"The newly-born babe of that Day excels the wisest and most venerable men of this time..."
Published by the Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Warwick.
Approved by the National Spiritual Assembly of the
Bahá'ís of the United Kingdom,
27 Rutland Gate, LONDON SW7 1PD.
All quotations are from the Bahá'í writings.