Changing Course, Transforming Education to build a better future

Blog by Evelyne Para, UN SI Representative at UNESCO

“We have not yet fulfilled our commitment put down in the 2030 Agenda to guarantee the right to quality education for all: education, this global public good, and this fundamental right which is the foundation of a sustainable future – Goal of Sustainable development SDG4.

Our SI President Maureen Maguire reminded us of this by sending a video message to Soroptimists around the world (WATCH). UN Secretary-General António Guterres and UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay also sent messages to the world (HERE). All of them say that glaring inequalities, a damaged planet, and the disruption caused by COVID-19 have only exacerbated an education crisis which, even before the pandemic, deprived 268 million children of education, especially girls, exposing them to poverty and violence.

This is why, on the occasion of the International Day of Education, celebrated around the world on 24 January, UNESCO has invited governments, civil society, educators, students and young people, and all NGOs of which we are part, to mobilise our collective intelligence in order to re-imagine our future together.

 

As UNESCO’s Futures of Education report (HERE) suggests, we need to redress past injustices and steer digital transformation towards inclusion and equity. It is also necessary to ensure that education contributes fully to sustainable development – for example, by integrating environmental education into all school curricula and by training teachers in this area.

When presenting this report in November 2021, Member States reaffirmed their commitment to invest in education, devoting at least 4% of GDP or at least 15% of public expenditure to education. They also called for global solidarity and cooperation (WATCH), because the COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us of how fragile and interconnected our societies are.

Targeted objectives for this International Day

>>> Encourage a debate, during the various webinars organised in several cities (New York, Paris, Dubai, Geneva, New Delhi…), on the essential drivers of transformations leading to more equitable and inclusive education systems, in order to accelerate the progress of the achievement of SDG 4, based on the findings of UNESCO’s Futures of Education Report.

>>> Showcasing transformations already underway, with potential to foster digital inclusion, green skills and abilities, and gender equality.

>>> Put forward on the one hand the voice of pupils and students regarding the changes and innovations they want to see so that their education is more fit for purpose, and on the other hand the voice of teachers regarding the future of their profession, integrating technology into their practice, and orienting teaching and learning around new skills and mindsets for people and the planet.

 

To Know more, https://en.unesco.org/commemorations/educationday

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