International Day of Education
Need help with your special event?
One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world” – Malala Yousafzai
The International Day of Education was declared by the United Nations because education is a human right that everyone should have access to. 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. Education is a powerful catalyst that can empower people to combat poverty and inequality, it helps people make informed decisions, and can empower vulnerable populations throughout the world. In order for this to be fully realized we need to see education as a key component of sustainable development. International Day of Education acknowledges this and urges the community to follow suit and advocate for ways to make education more accessible globally.
International Day of Education happens annually on January 24th and was chosen by the United Nations to commemorate the role of education for peace and development.
We celebrate International Day of Education because learning never stops. It is important to acknowledge that as far as the world has come today, there is still so much work that needs to be done to allow access to education to everyone. According to Unesco, today 258 million children and youth still can not or do not attend school, while the United Nations puts this number at 265 million. Both sources also acknowledge that 617 million children or adolescents cannot read or even do basic math. Literacy and arithmetic are key components of living a sustainable life. These sources also acknowledge discrepancies in education in third world countries by noting that 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.
Throughout the world, people’s rights to education are being violated and it is time for us to take a stand and fight for making education accessible to all. If an individual is suffering from the lack of Education, it can affect entire communities. This includes: Peace since those with larger education gaps are more likely to be in conflict, Justice because education is responsible for and assists with the entire justice and political system for representation and law creation, and Prosperity as countries with smaller education gaps report higher incomes and better standards of living for its citizens.
By celebrating International Day of Education we can better understand the ten targets curated by UNESCO, which speak to education and its relation to sustainable development, which are as follows:
- Universal Primary and Secondary Education
- Early Childhood Development and Universal Pre-Primary Education
- Equal Access to Technical/Vocational Training and Higher Education
- Relevant Skills for Decent Work
- Gender Equality and Inclusion
- Universal Youth and Adult Literacy
- Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship
- Effective Learning Environments
- Expand the Number of Scholarships Available for Developing Countries
- Increase the Supply for Qualified Teachers
(Ten Targets of Sustainable Development, UNESCO https://youtu.be/V24JzUPlR44)
With education comes empathy, understanding, and enlightenment, all key components to becoming a Global Citizen.
Everyone can participate in International Day of Education! It is proven that education helps not only the individual, but entire communities by allowing people to find their inner potential and utilize it for the good of the community and the world. In order for this global shift of making education more accessible to take place, everyone must do their part to empower learning as a fundamental human right.
You can celebrate the International Day of Education anywhere learning can take place. This includes: in school, in your community, at home, and even online! It is important to understand that learning happens in a variety of forms and therefore can happen anywhere.
You can celebrate in many ways. Simply thanking those who take the time to teach as a small gesture, to getting involved with human rights groups, to doing Trickster’s Event Day Exercises to get students thinking about the value of Education and hopefully promote them to continue learning and developing to be better community members and world citizens. You can also donate in many organizations. Education only received 2-4% of humanitarian funding.
Event Days give you the ability to not only explore International Day of Education, but also an opportunity to broaden that learning into experiential projects which can be shared. You can share them throughout your school, with other classes, and even more broadly if you choose. The ability for your students to not only have a project of their own, but to be able to see what other students were able to come up with, broadens the viewpoints and creates more dialogue surrounding the issues.
One size does not fit all
How you and your school decide to use the suggested activities, performances, and resources will depend completely on what you and your peers are comfortable with, and the time you have available to designate to the project(s). Trickster is also available to consult with if you would like extra help, resource connections, and/or coordination. You can go big, involving every class with different projects, performances and events throughout the school, or, you can go as small as just doing an activity listed in the materials for your own class which you believe will help them connect to the subject matter.
Due to the circumstances of COVID19, not everything suggested will be possible, and many will need to be adjusted to suit your needs and comfort level. As we hope to carry this forward, and know that schools are looking to future projects much further down the road, we do want to plant the seeds for what those event days might look like too. There will be suggestions throughout on how you can modify activities for social distancing, but you are also able at any point to choose and modify activities and projects to achieve the level of safety your school is comfortable with.
Why Teachers Love It
Our residency was a unifying and motivating experience that we used as a way to begin our year long inquiry about children’s rights.
— Lisa McConnell, Teacher, North Haven School, Calgary