Education has always been one of the highest priorities of the Thelian people. School attendance is not mandatory regardless of age, but Thelian society is such that in is unfathomable to think a child may not wish to learn. Educational programs are structured so that the families choose the school they feel best teaches their children based upon learning styles. All schools teach the same things but in different ways.
Higher education on Thelios is through the Academy, which is run by the global government. Each region has one Academy and each Academy offers the same studies. Few students are formally accepted into the Academy, but the classes are opened to all regardless of Academy registration. An enrolled status gives a student preference in popular classes, and Academy graduates are regarded as the top of their field. Graduating from the Academy is akin to completing a doctoral program: the graduate has not only absorbed information, but has in turn proven a mastery of their subject. The Academy is always located in the principal (capital) city of the region – thus making the principal city not only the seat of power but the academic and cultural center of the region as well.
Though the Thelians value knowledge to the extent that they make it open to all, there are also deep spiritual leanings in society. A few of these faiths formed while on the Thelian Dawn, but more formed once the citizens were settled on the planet. Many faiths – both older and newer – borrow from the beliefs and mythologies of Earth. Thelian law allows for citizens to practice their faith as they see fit provided such practice does not break any laws. Few belief systems extend farther than a single region. The spiritual tendencies of the people have been strengthened by the occurrence of incidents that many deem miracles – incidents that the even the top scientists were unable to explain.
The truth behind these miracles is magic. Few people – most of them within the global government – know of the existence of magic. Even fewer are able to perform magic. The first known magic users were aboard the Thelian Dawn – indicating that the ability was either passed along genetically from Earthling ancestors or developed though mutation while traveling through space. Myriad tests were performed on those who demonstrated magical abilities but the tests were unable to point to anything that would indicate why one person would have such powers while another would not.