“We must do far more to advance Sustainable Development Goal 4, to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres
Education is a human right, a public good, and a public responsibility. It plays a very crucial role in developing the creative thinking ability of young people and providing all the necessary skills and knowledge that are required to shape a competitive and productive individual. 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.
The right to education is being violated and it is unacceptable. The closure of schools, universities, and other learning institutions, as well as the interruption of many literacy and lifelong learning programmes, has affected the lives of 1.6 billion students in over 190 countries. 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.
The theme of the International Day of Education is ‘Recover and Revitalize Education for the COVID-19 Generation’. Capturing the spirit of the Day, UNESCO and partners have spearheaded the Learning Planet Festival to celebrate learning in all contexts and share innovations that fulfil the potential of every learner, no matter what their circumstances. Education offers children and youth a ladder out of poverty and a path to a promising future.
We, at the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), will continue to ensure that all youth acquire knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development and address other youth issues. At the same time, we intent to ensure that all youth both men and women achieve literacy and numeracy. Hence, WAY is calling on its member organisations to increase strategic policies commitment to education, as a force for inclusion driving the achievement of all the Sustainable Development Goals.
WAY has platforms that brings young people together of different age, race, background, and ethic group to interact and share ideas. It also strives to develop the youth by exposing them to an environment in which they get to realise their full potential and explore their untapped capabilities. Through such platforms, youth shall gain knowledge and share that among their peers, while engaging in the decision making process.
As the world marks the International Education Day, WAY calls on governments and all stakeholders to make universal quality education a leading priority.