“If we are to transform the future, if we are to change course, we must rethink education… We need to repair past injustices and orient the digital transformation around inclusion and equity. And we need education to fully contribute to sustainable development – for instance, by integrating environmental education in all curricula and by training teachers in this field.”

Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General

This year’s International Day of Education will serve as a forum for highlighting the most critical transformations that must be fostered to realise everyone’s fundamental right to education and build a more sustainable, inclusive, and peaceful future. It will spark discussion about how to improve education as a public endeavour and common good, guide the digital transformation, support teachers, protect the environment, and unleash the potential in every individual to contribute to collective well-being and our shared home.

 

Education is a fundamental human right.

Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone has the right to an education. The proclamation advocates for free and mandatory primary education. The 1989 Convention on the Child’s Rights requires countries to make higher education available to all citizens.

 

Education is essential for long-term development.

When the international community adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015, it acknowledged that education is critical to attaining all 17 of the Agenda’s goals. Goal 4 specifically intends to “provide inclusive and equitable quality education and encourage lifelong learning opportunities for everyone” by 2030.

Obstacles to achieving universal education

 

Education provides youngsters with a means out of poverty and a road to a bright future. However, approximately 258 million children worldwide do not have the opportunity to complete school; 617 million children cannot read or do basic math; less than 40% of girls in Sub-Saharan Africa complete lower secondary school, and approximately four million children and youth refugees are illiterate. Their entitlement to an education is being violated, which is unacceptable.

Nations will not achieve gender equality and break the cycle of poverty that is leaving millions of people behind unless they provide inclusive and equitable quality education and lifetime opportunities for all.

Source: United Nations

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