“Without quality education and lifelong learning for all, we will not succeed in addressing the challenges of our world. This requires investment, coordination and multilateralism; rethinking what and how we learn, with those who are on the frontlines and will be the actors and citizens of tomorrow: teachers and young people.” Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General
With that riveting thought, let us discuss the 24th of January which is observed as the International Day of Education. The United Nations General Assembly, on 3 December 2018, took the decision to commemorate this knowledge day. The 2021 ceremony marks the 3rd consecutive year of the International Day of Education observance.
UNESCO announced that the third International Day of Education (24 January 2021) would be under the theme ‘Recover and Revitalize Education for the COVID-19 Generation.’ The 2021 celebration will be held for two days - 24 & 25 January 2021.
Due to the COVID pandemic, closure of educational institutes as well as the interruption of many ‘literacy/lifelong learning programmes’ were affected. Globally, the lives of 1.6 billion students in over 190 countries suffered chaos in regards to education. The UN stated, “As a new year begins, now is the time to step up collaboration and international solidarity to place education and lifelong learning at the centre of the recovery and the transformation towards more inclusive, safe and sustainable societies.”
Apart from this, UNESCO, in partnership with CRI (Centre for Research and Interdisciplinarity), launched the initiative #LearningPlanet on 24 January 2020, the second session of the International Day of Education.
‘Learning to take care of Oneself, Others and the Planet’ is the theme under with the #LearningPlanet Festival.
The link to register for the event: https://www.learning-planet.org/en/festival
On January 25th, 2021, UNESCO will celebrate by organising an online conference on the 2021 theme ‘Recover and Revitalize Education for the COVID-19 Generation.’
The link to register for the event: https://unesco-org.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_F1ZC0KMIRJ-iu9TQ9p5aSA?timezone_id=Asia%2FCalcutta
*Registration for the #LearningPlanet Festival will also give you access to UNESCO’s online conference programme.
We know that the Sustainable Development Goal 4 specifically aims to harmonize and strengthen support to the Member States and their partners in achieving SDG 4 target by 2030. It also aids regarding other education-related targets for the member countries. Even though the goals were set before the world suffered COVID-19, that undeniably slowed the process, the United Nations is working not just towards the set target but to also rebuild all that was lost.
UNESCO has been tirelessly working to protect the well-being of children and ensure they have access to continued learning. UNESCO, in the March of 2020, launched the COVID-19 Global Education Coalition. It is a multi-sector partnership amongst the UN family, civil society organizations, media and IT partners to design and deploy innovative solutions regarding the right to education.
Specifically, the Global Education Coalition aims to:
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