International Day of Education: educators matter!

published 24 January 2019 updated 25 January 2019

Education International and education unions worldwide celebrate the first ever International Day of Education, calling on governments to make quality public education for all a reality.

On 3 December 2018, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted, with consensus, a resolution (Resolution 73/25), proclaiming 24 January as International Day of Education, in celebration of the role of education for peace and development.

This resolution, co-authored and proposed by Nigeria and 58 other Member States, calls on all stakeholders, including UN Member States, UN agencies, and civil society, non-governmental organisations, academic institutions, the private sector, individuals and other relevant stakeholders to observe the International Day of Education. UNESCO, as the specialised UN agency for education, was tasked with facilitating the annual observance of the Day, in close collaboration with main education actors.

“We warmly welcome the first ever International Day of Education,” stressed Education International (EI) General Secretary David Edwards. “It is timely and overdue at the same time, as we are very much concerned about slow and uneven progress towards the achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs).”

EI to governments: progress on SDG is too slow, act now!

He went on to note that SDG4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all – is key to achieving all other SDGs.

“We as education unionists and professionals have the deep-rooted belief that education is a human right, a public good and a public responsibility,” Edwards explained. “Investing in quality public education is investing in the future! That is why today, on International Day of Education, we reiterate our call for governments to invest in education and teachers: qualified educators make quality education for all possible. We also urge governments to take urgent action and make gender equality and inclusive education a reality!”

He added that EI is carrying out an assessment of SDGs and will be releasing a shadow report in July 2019 at the High-level Political Forum, the United Nations’ central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs.

On International Day of Education, EI is also broadcasting a webinar featuring EI Deputy General Secretary Haldis Holst and EI’s Dennis Sinyolo, emphasising the global union federation and its affiliates’ role as education experts, leaders and advocates in the field.