Why do we celebrate Education?

According to Aristotle,” Education is the creation of sound mind in a sound body.” It can be termed as the basic needs of one’s life. Educational methods include; storytelling, discussion, teaching, training, and direct research. It can take place in formal or informal settings. It plays a very important role in people’s lives; it gives us knowledge of the world around us, and changes it into a better place to live in. Education helps in build tool in our hands to ensure significant improvement of life, to stimulate economic growth, to unlock our potentials and bring about the innovation we need to build more resilient and sustainable societies. Chimombo points out education’s role as a policy instrument, capable of instilling social change and economic advancement in developing countries by giving communities the opportunity to take control of their destinies.

The 1948 UN Declaration of Human Rights enshrines education as a human right. It states in its Article 26 (1) “Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory…” (2) “Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace”.

The international community has continuously advocated in support for education through various initiatives. The UNESCO led ‘Education for All’ campaign was aimed at meeting learning needs of children, youths and adults by 2015. Its goals included expanding childhood care and education, free and compulsory education for all, learning and life skills for youths and adults, achieving gender parity and equality, and improving the quality of education.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by the United Nation General Assembly in September 2015, calls for a new vision to address the environmental, social and economic concerns facing the world today. This Agenda includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including #SDG4 on Quality Education. Before this period a very small minority of boys attended schools, but by the start of the 21st century, majority of children in most regions of the world are not attending school. Today, according to the World Bank and UNESCO, 262 million children and youth still do not attend 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 4 million children and youth refugees are out of school. It is the responsibility for every society to provide education for every child with no one left behind.

On December 3rd 2018 the United Nation General Assembly adopted a resolution to observe 24th January starting from 2019 as the International day of Education. This is to celebrate the role of education in development, calling on various nations to provide quality education so as to achieve sustainable development by 2030. The day is celebrated with a focus on improving the universal quality of education and for various public and private organisations to observe the day to promote education as a fundamental right.

At SODEI we believe in the power of education as the key instrument to unlocking the potentials of the younger generation and the vehicle for driving peace and sustainable development in local communities. We believe in fostering the goals of ‘Education for All’ aimed at meeting the learning needs of children, youths and adults.