Article 178: It is an obligation upon the State to teach every individual those matters that are necessary for the mainstream of life, male or female, in the primary and secondary levels of education. This must be provided free of charge to everyone, and the State should, to the best of its ability, provide the opportunity for everyone to continue higher education free of charge.
Its evidence is that it is from the essential interests and utilities for people, since teaching the individuals what they require in mainstream life is from the essential interests, since it achieves benefit and repels harm. This is why it is obligatory upon the State to provide for these interests according to what mainstream life necessitates, and according to the number of youth present that require to be taught those issues. Primary and secondary education of the masses has become a necessity due to the nature of life between nations in this era, and is no longer from the non-essential issues, so accordingly the primary and secondary education for every individual of what is required to partake in the mainstream of life is an obligation upon the State, while it remains one of the essential interests. Therefore, it is obligatory upon the State to provide sufficient primary and secondary schools for all the subjects of the State who wish to study and provide them with what they require to partake in life’s affairs free of charge. The Messenger made the ransom of the disbelieving prisoners that they should teach ten of the Muslim children, and that was from the war booty which is part of what the Khalifah may spend in the interests of the Muslims, and is evidence that the spending upon education is without anything given in exchange.
Higher education is also from the interests, so anything from it which is part of the necessities such as medicine must be provided by the State, in the same manner as primary and secondary education, since it achieves benefit and repels harm and is from the issues that the Shari’ah obligated upon the State. As for anything from the non-essential issues, such as literature, then the State should provide for it if the finances were available.
The primary and secondary teaching, along with whatever is essential for the Ummah in terms of further education, is considered part of the obligatory interests upon the expenditure of the Bayt Al-Mal, without anything in return.