The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 24 January as International Day of Education, in celebration of the role of education for peace and development.
Without inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong opportunities for all, countries will not succeed in achieving gender equality and breaking the cycle of poverty that is leaving millions of children, youth and adults behind.
Today, 258 million children and youth still do not attend school; 617 million children and adolescents cannot read and do basic math; less than 40% of girls in sub-Saharan Africa complete lower secondary school and some four million children and youth refugees are out of school. Their right to education is being violated and it is unacceptable.
International Day of Education
Being announced in 2018, the International Day of Education was celebrated globally on 24th January 2019, Thursday.
The day was celebrated with a focus on improving the universal quality of education. Various public and private sectors, governmental and non-governmental organisations observed the day internationally by promoting education as the fundamental right of a child.
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres invited the support and cooperation from all the countries to emphasize the importance of education. UNESCO also observed the day by organizing an event named ‘Maiden Celebration of International Day of Education’ which was held at the UN headquarters in New York.
What Is The Benefit Of Celebrating?
International Day Of Education is a manifestation of world’s political power’s will to improve the standards of education and their resolution towards eradicating illiteracy. It also reiterates the importance of education for the world’s social and economical development. The observance is expected to improve the quality of education and protects the rights of the student community. The nations together, will reach out to the masses stressing on the importance of education and also the role that it plays in achieving the goal of sustainable development by 2030.
Education plays very important role in eradication of poverty, illiteracy and providing livelihood through employment, developing skills, improving health and sanitation, economical and social development, high living standards, better hygiene and reduced crime rates. Education is a one stop remedy for many social issues. It is also the most important factor leading to the UN’s sustainable development goals by 2030.
The observance also stresses the fact that the education is not only a fundamental right but also a necessity to achieve sustainable development; not to mention the role that education plays in poverty eradication, generating employment and leading to social and economical development.
How Will “International Day Of Education” Be Celebrated?
The resolution calls upon the countries, the UN member states, social activists, civil societies, education institutes, private sectors, volunteers and professionals to observe the International Day of Education in their respective capacities.
Promoting education, raising the standards of education and ensuring education for all are some of the vital points to be acted upon. UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) will play a vital role, being the United Nation’s education body.
The observance of International Day of Education stresses to the nations, the need to adapt to modernized academic programs; as the world has globalized and become interdependent.
Events will be organized to acknowledge the importance of education at every level – primary, secondary and tertiary level also the distance education as well as vocational training programs; providing opportunities to the illiterate as well as the educated, beyond the limitations of age. Such programs will stress on improving employability and the quality of life, through education.
The day not only stresses on academic education, but also on developing skills; raising individual productivity and employability.
Efforts will be made towards developing co-operation between the member states on the fields of education and sustainable development through education. The costs of all the activities related to the observance are to be met voluntarily.
Why Should India Celebrate “International Day Of Education”?
Despite being the world’s fastest growing economy, India still has a huge illiterate population – 287 Million; 37% of the world’s total. It is very important for the Indian government to co ordinate with the international community, to improve the state and quality of education in India.
Though, India has been celebrating its National education day on 11th November each year on the birth anniversary of its first education minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad; it has remained largely a commemoration event.
By joining hands with the UN and international community on the observance of the International Day Of Education, India will open new venues for education and skill development; leading to financial as well as social development of the country.
India could tap on the opportunity of inviting more funds from international community or the United Nations, to utilize into her educational programs.
It is an era of globalization and our education system need to be the equivalent to global standards. For that, we have to be observant and receptive to global changes in the field of education.
Observing International Day of Education will substantiate India’s resolve towards eradication of illiteracy and sustainable development.
How Should India Celebrate?
India could celebrate the International Day Of education by roping in different organizations, education institutions and volunteers etc, to work towards the cause of education; either by manual or financial contribution.
The government of India could call upon International voluntary organizations and non government organizations to celebrate the International Day of Education, by organizing various campaigns for raising awareness and funds.
Programs could be organized to reach out mainly to the deprived sections of the society and addressing the issues which are acting as the constraints to their education.
One way of observing the International Day of Education could be through diplomatic dialogue. Diplomats from the UN member states can be invited to speak on the issues of education and its effects on the society. Diplomatic dialogues will provide an in depth knowledge to our student community as well as government organizations and educational institutions; making a way for self improvement through self assessment.
Such dialogues will make India aware of the state of education around the world; providing opportunity to identify her own shortcomings and to work towards removing them.