The 24th of January 2020 is also known as the International Education Day. Every year, UNESCO has a theme for the celebration of education all over the world, and for this year, the global theme is of “Learning for people, planet, prosperity, and peace”. That means, the celebration of education day this year is about how learning can empower people, preserve the planet, build prosperity, and foster peace.
According to the data in UNESCO, there are still 258 million children that could not get their very much needed education. However, the children that enroll in educational establishments do not fare better. Around two-thirds of the 411 million children that have trouble with reading and mathematics actually attended school. This brings into question the quality of those schools.
The Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay said that if the people fail to give children the education that they needed, then it will have a very devastating effect in the future of entire development. She believed that education is one of the most important keystone regarding Sustainable Development Goals set for 2030.
Jean-Michel Blanquer, the minister of National Education of France said that the greatest challenge the world has to address is not only on teaching the children. What is not less important is to accompany and train teachers, because those teachers are the centerpiece of education, and education is the foundation of our society.
The celebration of International Education Day
Near the actual education day, there are a lot of places in the world that do their own celebration of the day. Most of the activities are promoting the best part of their education systems.
Groningen is the largest city in the north of the Netherlands. Carine Bloemhoff, the Deputy Mayor of Groningen said the opportunities and the success of everyone that grew up in their municipality used to depend on the family you grew up in. However, now she is determined to change that.
For the International Education Day of 2020, Groningen brought local partners in government, entrepreneurship, and education to discuss inclusion, lifelong learning, and equal opportunities for everyone that wants to improve their future. Bloemhoff explains that she wants to fight the segregation between classes, because she believed that social equality will be the key to the cities’ development.
Swansea, a coastal city in South Wales believed that no one is too young or too old to learn new skills for the future. Even though Swansea is faced with a downturn within their economic development, they have developed a plan to make their city thrive: entrepreneurialism. This was because back in 2015, Swansea suffered so much from third-generation unemployment and their lack of engagement with education.
Rob Stewart, the Leader of Swansea Council said that they are committed in creating the culture of entrepreneurs. Ever since they joined the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities, they have made noticeable and massive steps towards erasing the barriers for participation of education. This way, they could narrow the gap between classes, enhance the social cohesion, and develop a thriving economy based on knowledge.
From those 2 cities that celebrate the International Education Day, it seems apparent what the world needs to do if we are serious in increasing the number of educated children in the world: making sure that everyone could receive the same level of education. By doing so, we will be able to have more intellectuals working in making sure the world becomes a better place for everyone.