Yeah, in ideal word where all people want from education is to learn the freedom is a good thing. And in more positive settings (high courses, some more elite specialities) this works well and I use it. But freedom always implies responisibility, or it is a chaos, not freedom.
In a more real world, where there is not only knowledge, but diploma (and later mean significant social priveleges) all is somewhat more complicated. If certificate meant to have some weight, there should be some locks on the way to it. And when it come to the kids (and in modern western culture people could be kids quite long), there should be locks too, since they don't 100% responisble.
The freedom, as a swimming, is a thing that should be learned how to deal with. And drop one in the river isn't a best way to teach how to swim, neither this idea work well with freedom. So it's better to remove locks gradually. Unless, of course, you are dealing with mature people (rare enought thing in educational word) with goal to learn (and not "I don't need to know this at all for my work, but my employer want certificate badly, so you should give me it without learning!").