Education is a human right, a public good and a public responsibility.
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.
"At the peak of the pandemic, schools were actually closed for 91% of learners, or 1.5 billion pupils and students. It then became apparent to everyone that education was a global public good and school was more than just a place of learning: it was also a place that provided protection, well-being, food and freedom. (...) On this International Day of Education, UNESCO invites you to promote education as a fundamental right and the most powerful aid to development that we have. Defending the future of this right means defending the right to the future." - Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director General, on the occasion of International Day of Education 2021.
The third International Day of Education (January 24) will be marked on Monday 25 January 2021 under the theme ‘Recover and Revitalize Education for the COVID-19 Generation’. Now is the time to power education by stepping up collaboration and international solidarity to place education and lifelong learning at the centre of the recovery.
- Watch the event live today!
The global event for the Day will be planned along three main segments: learning heroes, innovations, and financing. It will be organized in partnership with the UNESCO New York Office, UNHQ, the Global Partnership for Education and the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies (CRI), and feature the participation of partners from the Global Education Coalition. Capturing the spirit of the International Day of Education, CRI and UNESCO have spearheaded a Learning Planet Festival to celebrate learning in all contexts and share innovations that fulfill the potential of every learner, no matter what their circumstances. The CRI will also be unveiling the winners of an essay contest of “Le Petit Prince”.