International Education Day 2021
Article 26 of the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" says that every human being has the right to education and that it shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages.
Even so, there are millions of children who are not in school for various reasons: war, poverty, gender issues as in the case of many girls...
It is obvious that quality education is a fundamental tool to fight precisely the above problems. It is the basis that allows us to make progress and improve our society so that it becomes more fair, sustainable and egalitarian.
A good education helps us to understand what is happening around us and gives us the power to be critical of what we consider to be wrong, allowing us to be able to bring about changes that affect us, not only as individuals, but also as a society.
Although education is a fundamental right, an International Day was not declared until 2019, which means that 2021 will be the third year it has been celebrated.
We already know that the fact of having an International Day of Education does not guarantee that we will solve the problem of quality education reaching everyone equally, but at least it gives us a day to reflect and try to make the whole planet aware of the importance of all people having access to education.
Which theme has been proposed for this year?
The year 2020 has been a year in which the education system has suffered the effects of a terrible pandemic. The COVID-19 virus shook our lives at all levels, and schools had to close their doors first and then reinvent themselves to provide quality education using new technologies.
This situation has further marginalized the most vulnerable, those families with few resources who do not have the necessary means to continue with distance studies.
In addition, teachers have had to reformulate the way they teach curriculum content, use creativity and adapt themselves to be able to teach knowledge through a computer screen.
Therefore, the theme of this year's International Education Day is "Recover and revitalise education for the COVID-19 generation" and aims to achieve the following goals:
- Highlight the commitments and follow-up actions taken to protect education through recovery, increase inclusion and combat drop-out.
- Celebrate initiatives being led by governments, educators, organizations—from global to grassroots efforts—as well as partnerships demonstrating the potential to recommit education to the principles of equity and relevance.
- Highlight best practices in laws and policies on equitable finance for education that effectively and efficiently target the most disadvantaged via a tool featured on UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report.
- To give voice to the COVID-19 generation to express their concerns and aspirations in the face of a future marked by an economic recession and climate change.
The importance of schools
We have experienced, and are still experiencing, a major change in our lives: teleworking has spread to many companies, our way of interacting with others has been altered and our schools, colleges and universities have had to close their doors for months.
All this has made us think that an educational centre not only serves to inculcate certain knowledge, but that they are places where our personality is built through the experiences we live in them.
Living with our classmates, working as a team, sharing our achievements and our daily problems, all this helps us to develop as individuals.
It is clear that in hard times we all have to adapt, and in this case, new technologies have been a great help in being able to continue educating, although for those who could have access to a computer or a good Internet connection. However, and although it is obvious that it is possible to study online, especially at university level, in the first stage of education it is not enough.
So let us hope that this pandemic will soon be gone so that we can return to schools and universities. These have been hard times, full of uncertainties, which have affected the quality of education for millions of children and teenagers. It is time to start working to restore and improve our schools.