In 2018, the United Nations constituded 24 January as the International Day of Education. Since then it’s become an occasion where we come together to raise awareness and highlight the important role of education. It is also an opportunity to celebrate the achievements and efforts of those who took the action that improves and makes education accessible to more people.
Education is not only a human right, it is also an important catalyst that drives individuals and groups across the world in tackling numerous issues and finding solutions in the face of burning challenges. Whether they are societal, economic or environmental, we can only go so far in taking them on without the proper training. Education has a crucial place in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. A part of the SDG 4 it is closely tied and in many ways can be considered as the prerequisite to achieving all other goals. Providing education that is accessible to everyone has become the responsibility for all of us as a society. It is the only way we can take global issues such as global warming together – by making sure everyone can do their part.
A greater accessibility of education is only a part of the solution – in order to be effective it has to equip us with the knowledge, along with the right skills and mindset that can be utilized in combating global issues in a meaningful way. Recognizing such needs has been at the forefront of oikos as an organization and a community for over three decades. Our Transforming Education(TE) initiative has taken upon itself to rally students, researchers and academia to bring about change in universities’ curricula and drive the transformation of higher education worldwide.
But our efforts in education go beyond just the TE initiative. Whether it’s oikos programs that provide informal education to hundreds or local initiatives by our student and alumni members, education is central to our work. It is why we recognize the importance of this date when we celebrate the transformative power of education. This year we especially recognize the role of education in countering the alarming growth of violence and discrimination, fueled by hate speech and misinformation and the far-reaching impact it creates. The theme of ‘Learning for lasting peace’, strengthens the belief in the role of education in curbing conflicts and reducing inequalities. You can learn more about the International Day of Education and take part in events around it here.