International Day of Education – 24 January 2020

Education is a human right, a public good and a public responsibility.

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 24 January 2019 as the first International Day of Education, in celebration of the role of education for peace and development.

The 2020 celebration will position education and the learning it enables as humanity’s greatest renewable resource and reaffirm the role of education as a fundamental right and a public good. It will celebrate the many ways learning can empower people, preserve the planet, build shared prosperity and foster peace.

People: Education enables us to confront multidimensional social challenges, such as poverty, gender inequality and social isolation.

Planet: It also contributes to the development of skills, concepts and tools that can help reverse or stop unsustainable practices and allow humans to live in greater harmony with the natural world.

Prosperity: Education is clearly linked with increased earnings for individuals: across 139 countries, the rate of return per additional year of schooling is 10 per cent. Rates of return are highest in poorer countries that have a shortage of skilled workers.

Peace: Education can also play a vital role in peacebuilding and reconciliation. Education initiatives have a proven potential to help marginalised populations gain access to justice that contributes to peaceful societies.

Without inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong opportunities for all, countries will not succeed in achieving gender equality and breaking the cycle of poverty that is leaving millions of children, youth and adults behind.

Soroptimists all over the Federation are making a difference to the lives of women and girls in many ways:

  • Raising funds to sponsor girls’ education
  • Volunteering to listen to children read
  • Volunteering to read to pupils to foster a love of reading
  • Volunteering to read to residents in care homes
  • Volunteering to create a talking newspaper for the visually impaired
  • Supporting the provision of sanitary wear to enable girls to continue to attend school
  • Running education programmes for marginalised girls
  • Donating books to Better World Books for redistribution
  • Donating funds to support the building/outfitting of classrooms/libraries etc.
  • Donating stationery items/text books/clothing/shoes for pupils
  • Delivering IT sessions for older people
  • Organising STEM events

More information on these projects can be found on the SIGBI database under People and Education.

Yvonne Gibbon
APD People