The United Nations has declared January 24 as the “International Day of Education” and the first ever celebration of the “International Day of Education” will be held across the world today. On December 3 last year, the UN adopted a consensus resolution to proclaim January 24 as ‘International Day of Education.’
The UN has dedicated January 24 to education to laud the role of education for peace and development and the UN hopes the dedication will help highlight the importance and benefits of education – a critical component of UN’s sustainability agenda – for humanity.
The humanitarian organisation has called upon all government and public organisations, educational and academic institutes, civil society, non-governmental organisations, and the people to observe January 24 as the International Day of Education.
In his message for the first ever inception of the international education day, UN Director General Audrey Azoulay said, “This day is the occasion to reaffirm fundamental principles. Firstly, education is a human right, a public good and a public responsibility. Secondly, education is the most powerful force in our hands to ensure significant improvements in health, to stimulate economic growth, to unlock the potential and innovation we need to build more resilient and sustainable societies. Lastly, we urgently need to call for collective action for education at global level.”
Educacation has for long been declared a basic human rights, but millions of children, especially girls, around the world are denied that basic right every day due to poverty, conflict, cultural barriers and lack of proper infrastructure needed to ensure quality education for children.
In Pakistan as well, almost 23 million children between the ages of five and 16 remain out of school, putting their and the nation’s productive future at risk.
According to UN, countries will not be able to amicably address issues of gender equality and poverty if millions of children, teens and young adults are not offered the opportunity to receive education and a chance at turning their fortunes around.
According to UN estimates, about 262 million children and youth do not attend school, while 617 million children and adolescents cannot read and do basic math. It also estimates that about four million children and youth refugees are out of school due to war, conflict and displacement.