On January 24, the UN General Assembly proclaimed the International Day of Education, recognizing its role in achieving peace and human development.
Everyone has the right to education, according to Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration calls for ensuring free primary education for everyone. And the Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted in 1989, contains a provision on the obligation of states to give access to higher education for all.
The resolution recognizes the importance of education for achieving sustainable development and emphasizes that education can enhance individual productivity and increase economic growth potential, contribute to the eradication of poverty and hunger, and promote health and gender equality.
According to the UN, about 265 million children and teenagers still do not have the opportunity to go to school or graduate from school, and 20% of them are at an age when it is necessary to receive primary education. These children suffer from poverty, discrimination, armed conflict, emergency situations and the effects of climate change. Migration and forced displacement also negatively impact educational opportunities.
Having proclaimed this Day, Member States noted the importance of taking action to ensure inclusive and equally valuable education at all levels, so that all people have the opportunity to continue their education further on, which would help them gain the necessary knowledge and skills allowing for full participation in the life of society and contributing to sustainable development.
The document also calls for more efforts to ensure an inclusive and just approach in all educational institutions, including primary, secondary, higher and professional education so that people could continue their personal development at all ages and thus contribute to the society and sustainable development.
The General Assembly tasked UNESCO (a specialised UN agency dealing with issues of education, science and culture) to organize the celebration of the International Day of Education.