I agree that literacy the ability is not a right, however the access to the ability to learn is such.
Also, the question stated here is about a certain situation where the ability to become literate is stifled behind the desire for a safe learning environment. Where illness is claimed to be rampant and the schools are facing bankruptcy, wherein the need to survive overpowers the desire to learn despite if the students wanted to learn.
On the other hand, I learned to read before the first grade because of curiosity, desire, and spending time with my sister and her friends who were learning. proving the point, "if there is a will there is a way". I feel there are other undercurrents and agendas at work within this article.