INTERNATIONAL DAY OF EDUCATION
Every year on January 24th, the International Day of Education celebrates the role of education in global peace and sustainable development.
Education is essential for many reasons. Education provides knowledge. It helps people better themselves and understand the world around them. Additionally, education paves the way for employment. Sadly, however, over 72 million children around the world do not have access to education. Many more millions of children and adolescents don’t have the opportunity to complete their education.
Improving Access to Education
A lack of education is problematic in both developing and underdeveloped countries. One of the main reasons a child doesn’t go to school is due to an equal rights issue. These inequalities include gender, health, and cultural identities. Besides bias, many countries cannot afford to build schools. If these countries are fortunate enough to have a school, many of them cannot provide schooling materials. They also have a hard time paying their teachers. The lack of finances, along with a lack of teachers, forces students of all ages to learn in the same oversized classroom.
Since education cannot be adapted for individual needs, the drop-out rates in these schools is high. One of the most affected areas is Sub-Saharan Africa, with thirty-two million uneducated children. More than 54% of uneducated children are girls. In Yemen, over 80% of the girls in the country will never go to school.
Lack of education as a child leads to a higher risk of unemployment when they become adults. The dominoes continue to fall. A life without a job leads to poverty. The cycle is likely to start over, too. In families with uneducated parents, the children are at a higher risk of experiencing the same fate.
Breaking the cycle is vital by making access to education a primary goal of every nation. Education is a human right. The United Nations lists the right to education in its Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Convention on the Rights of the Child states that countries shall make higher education accessible to all.
HOW TO OBSERVE #InternationalDayOfEducation
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), facilitates events for the day. These events include a celebration at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France. There is also a celebration at the UN Headquarters in New York.
- Consider your own education and how it shaped you.
- Discuss with others why education is so vital for children.
- Give your children’s teachers a special treat.
- Write a thank you note to educators you know.
- Read about famous educators like Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Christa McAuliffe, Anne Sullivan, and Frederick Douglass.
Don’t forget to share this day on social media with #InternationalDayOfEducation.
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF EDUCATION HISTORY
The United States General Assembly adopted January 24th as International Day of Education and proclaimed on December 3, 2018. Nigeria and 58 other Member States co-authored the resolution. The first official International Day of Education was observed on January 24th, 2019.