Malawi must know this definition of academic freedom

Acadenic Freedom:

[The freedom to teach or to learn without interference by government officials or public pressure so as to ensure the open pursuit of truth and knowledge. First known use of the concept was in 1863]

Standard Definition

Academic freedom is the freedom of teachers and students to teach, study, and pursue knowledge and research without unreasonable interference, restriction, or penalty from law, institutional regulations, officials, organized groups, or public pressure.

Elements or Contents

  1. For teachers, the basic elements of academic freedom include the freedom to inquire into any subject that evokes their intellectual concern; to present their findings to their students, colleagues, and others; to publish their data and conclusions without control or censorship; and to teach in the manner they consider professionally appropriate.
  2. For students, the basic elements include the freedom to study subjects that concern them, to explore any field or hold any belief without interference from the teacher, and to form conclusions for themselves and express their opinions.
  3. For both teachers and students, the basic elements include the right to express their intellectual ideas in the classroom or in writing, and to disseminate them to the public, free from political, religious, or institutional restrictions, even if these ideas are unpopular.

Academic or Intellectual Rights

(As contained in the Kampala Declaration of 1990 and based on international best practice)

Every intellectual has the right to pursue intellectual activity, including teaching, research and dissemination of research results, without let or hindrance subject only to universally recognized principles of scientific enquiry and ethical and professional standards.

Teaching and researching members of staff and students of institutions of education have the right, directly and through their elected representatives, to initiate, participate in, and determine academic programmes of their institutions in accordance with the highest standards of education.

Malawi's academic freedom in a casket heavily guarded by cops

The intellectual community shall have the right to express its opinions freely in the media and establish its own media and means of communication.

Teaching and researching members of the intellectual community shall have security of tenure. They shall not be dismissed or removed from employment except for reasons of gross misconduct, proven incompetence or negligence incompatible with the academic profession, and proven criminal acts. Disciplinary proceedings for dismissal or removal on grounds stated here shall be in accordance with laid down procedures providing for a fair hearing before a democratically elected body of the intellectual community.

Every intellectual and intellectual community has the right to initiate and develop contacts or establish relations with other intellectuals and intellectual communities provided that they are based on equality and mutual respect.

State Obligations

(As contained in the Kampala Declaration of 1990 and based on international best practice)

The State is obliged to take prompt and appropriate measures in respect of any infringement by state officials of the rights and freedoms of the intellectual community brought to its attention.

The State shall not deploy any military, paramilitary, security or intelligence, or any of the like forces within the premises and grounds of institutions of education.

The State shall desist from exercising censorship over the works of the intellectual community.

The State is obliged to ensure that no official or organ under its control produces or puts into circulation disinformation or rumours calculated to intimidate, bring into disrepute or in any way interfere with the legitimate pursuits of the intellectual community.

The State shall continuously ensure adequate funding for research institutions and higher education.
Note: the Kampala Declaration of 1990 is based on the United Nations (UN) International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the African Union (AU) African Charter for Human and People’s Rights.

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