The world comes together in a global chorus in support of education every January 24. Today is not like any other day: it's the International Day of Education, a celebration of education's capacity to change lives and create a more just and hopeful world.
This day, which was declared by the UN in 2018, serves as an important reminder. Education is a basic human right, not a privilege. However, millions of people worldwide continue to lack access to high-quality education, with the harsh realities of poverty, violence, or discrimination taking the place of classrooms.
The subject of 2024, "Learning for lasting peace," is particularly relevant in a world where division and violence are on the rise. Education fosters tolerance, empathy, and critical thinking abilities in addition to knowledge acquisition. It's about constructing bridges between cultures and encouraging communication rather than hostility.
Consider classrooms as havens of calm as well as places to store knowledge. Imagine if kids from different backgrounds learned how to appreciate differences and settle disputes amicably, rather than just memorising formulas. Education holds the key to enduring peace, and it is a promise worth pursuing.
But we must all join this fight. Governments need to put education first, making sure that everyone has access to high-quality instruction. Together, communities must support their schools and establish inclusive, secure learning environments. People, teachers, and students themselves can all become effective peace education advocates by incorporating tolerance and understanding into everyday encounters.
Let us pledge to use education as a tool for peace on this International Day of Education, in addition to celebrating learning. Let every open book become a dove of hope, rising to a future in which knowledge gives us the ability to put aside our differences and create a world where long-lasting peace, at last, takes flight.