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Without an educational system that is inclusive, equitable, and qualitative, as well as lifelong learning opportunities, countries will struggle to achieve gender equality and break the poverty jinx that has left millions of children, youth, and adults far behind. In a bid to celebrate the role of education in bringing global peace and sustainable development, the United Nations General Assembly on December 3, 2018, adopted a resolution which proclaimed January 24 as International Day of Education. The first annual international observation day for International Day of Education was held on January 24, 2019. Further, article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights enshrines the right to education, and calls for a free and compulsory elementary education, while the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was adopted in 1989 notes that countries should ensure that higher education, is accessible to all.
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In September 2015, the international community while adopting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognized that education is instrumental in achieving all of its 17goals. This is equally made clear in the Sustainable Development Goal 4 which highlights the aim to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” by 2030.
‘We must do far more to advance Sustainable Development Goal 4, to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.’ UN Secretary-General António GuterresToday marks the third International Day of Education and it is celebrated with the theme ‘Recover and Revitalize Education for the COVID-19 Generation’. While the globe battles a pandemic that has claimed several lives and left more ill, education and lifelong learning opportunities must take the centre stage in the recovery process. In over 190 countries across the globe, 1.6 billion students were affected by the closure of schools, universities, learning institutions, and the disruption of numerous literacy and lifelong learning programmes during the peak of the pandemic. The world in 2021 needs to improve collaboration and solidarity towards placing education at the centre of recovery and transformation efforts in ensuring a safe, sustainable, and inclusive society. Sources: UN UNESCO Featured Image Source: UNC World View
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