The seventh Ishráq of Baháʼu'lláh's Ishráqat stipulates as follows
"Unto every father hath been enjoined the instruction of his son and daughter in the art of reading and writing... "
While there do exist a number of preliterate or non-literate cultures, Baháʼís assume the spread of literacy to be one of the signs of an "ever-advancing civilization." For example, a priesthood is not needed in this era because the ability to read and write is no longer restricted to a professional class, with the masses reduced to auditors of their sacred texts.
The father is attributed with the responsibility for every child's education and should he fail to execute his responsibility to educate his children he can be compelled and even lose his rights as father. Mothers are acknowledged as the "first educators" of humanity, and their responsibility is equally confirmed. Beyond this, responsibility also falls to the community as a whole, as embodied in its Baháʼí institutions.
In the unfortunate event that parents and/or their communities cannot educate all their children, Baháʼí law stipulates that girls are to be given priority over boys.
Today it is obligatory for the loved ones of God, and their imperative duty, to educate the children in reading, writing, the various branches of knowledge, and the expansion of consciousness, that on all levels they may go forward day by day.
The mother is the first teacher of the child. For children, at the beginning of life, are fresh and tender as a young twig, and can be trained in any fashion you desire.
If you rear the child to be straight, he will grow straight, in perfect symmetry. It is clear that the mother is the first teacher and that it is she who establisheth the character and conduct of the child.
Wherefore, O ye loving mothers, know ye that in God's sight, the best of all ways to worship Him is to educate the children and train them in all the perfections of humankind; and no nobler deed than this can be imagined. (From a Tablet, translated from the Persian)
From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh
Regard man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value. Education can, alone, cause it to reveal its treasures, and enable mankind to benefit therefrom.
Arts, crafts and sciences uplift the world of being, and are conducive to its exaltation. Knowledge is as wings to man’s life, and a ladder for his ascent. Its acquisition is incumbent upon everyone. 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 child must not be oppressed or censured because it is undeveloped; it must be patiently trained. (The Promulgation of Universal Peace)
Bahá’u’lláh has announced that inasmuch as ignorance and lack of education are barriers of separation among mankind, all must receive training and instruction. Through this provision the lack of mutual understanding will be remedied and the unity of mankind furthered and advanced. Universal education is a universal law.
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 principal reason for the decline and fall of peoples is ignorance. Today the mass of the people are uninformed even as to ordinary affairs, how much less do they grasp the core of the important problems and complex needs of the time. Abdu’l-Baha
Observe carefully how education and the arts of civilization bring honor, prosperity, independence and freedom to a government and its people.
Bahá’ís of Botswana
Bahá’í communities are working together with their neighbours and friends to promote and contribute to the well-being and progress of society. In urban centres and rural villages, in homes and schools, citizens of all backgrounds, classes and ages are participating in a dynamic pattern of life, taking part in activities which are, at once, spiritual, social and educational.
FOR MORE INFORMATION