Ranjan K Baruah
(With direct inputs from UN publication and feedback may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org)
Promotion of and ensuring education means we are ensuring a sustainable future. Though there are challenges to achieving universal education, it is a must and we must ensure the same. We are aware that education offers children a ladder out of poverty and a path to a promising future. We should know that about 244 million children and adolescents around the world are out of school; 617 million children and adolescents cannot read and do basic math; 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.
This year is crucial and important when it comes to global goals or Agenda 2030. This year marks the mid-point since the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for people, planet and prosperity, with a set of 17 interlocked goals that will come up for review at the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Summit in September on the theme of investing in people.
There is no doubt that education is a human right, a public good and a public responsibility. The UN General Assembly proclaimed 24th January as the International Day of Education (IDE), in celebration of the role of education in peace and development. On 3rd December 2018, the UN General Assembly adopted with consensus a resolution proclaiming 24th January as the International Day of Education, in celebration of the role of education in peace and development. The theme of this year's IDE was "to invest in people, prioritize education."
The adoption of the resolution 73/25 "International Day of Education", co-authored by Nigeria and 58 other Member States, demonstrated the unwavering political will to support transformative actions for inclusive, equitable and quality education for all. By doing so, the international community reiterated that education plays a key role in building sustainable and resilient societies, and contributes to the achievement of all other Sustainable Development Goals. UNESCO, as the specialized United Nations agency for education, facilitates the annual observance of the Day in close collaboration with main education actors.
In India, the right to education is one of the fundamental rights. Similarly, the right to education is enshrined in Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The declaration calls for free and compulsory elementary education. Governments are committed to ensuring quality education and more investment must be there in the field of education in the annual budget. Apart from the government we have seen many initiatives under Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for ensuring quality education in India.
António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the UN in his message on the occasion of IDE said that "it has always been shocking to me that education has been given such a low priority in many government policies and in international cooperation instruments." "Now is also the time to end all discriminatory laws and practices that hinder access to education. I call on the de facto authorities in Afghanistan in particular to reverse the outrageous and self-defeating ban on access to secondary and higher education for girls. I also encourage countries to place education at the heart of preparations for the SDG Summit in 2023 and the Summit of the Future in 2024," he added. He urged civil society and youth to continue calling for more and better investment in quality education.
It is a matter of shame that there are children in our society who are out of school. The employment challenge is increasing and school dropout or unable to continue education is a challenge for all of us. There must be participation from all to ensure quality education and at the same time, there must be more investment in the public education system. We have seen that private schools or institutions are flourishing but government institutes are in bad shape. The school adoption programme initiated by the education department of Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) is one of the welcome moves to enhance quality education by involving different stakeholders. Let us together make a difference and contribute from our side to ensure quality education.