International day of education
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International Day of Education 2019

Education is an essential milestone for a more peaceful and equitable world. And yet, millions of children and youth do not have access to essential education services. The United Nations and also hundreds of other humanitarian organizations are working to promote, protect and foster education as a human right.

On January 24th, 2019, for the first time, the world celebrates the International Day of Education to reaffirm this intention.

Why is International Day of Education important?

The quality of education and access to schooling has come a long way in recent decades. But today, 262 million children and youth still do not attend school. Meanwhile, 617 million children and adolescents are unable to do basic math or to read. Fortunately, many organizations help to improve education every day.

There is also inequality in access to education. For example, 4 million children of refugees are not attending school. Some children must travel for miles to access a school. Also, a significant gender gap persists. Less than 40% of girls in sub-Saharan Africa have the opportunity to finish secondary school.

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The first-ever International Day of Education is one of the many steps to bridge these gaps and provide universal education around the world. It is an opportunity to critically reflect on the potential of children if given the tools to succeed. It is also a day when humanitarians and supporters can come together and promote quality international education.

Education and Sustainable Development Goals

Education is also a basic human right. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights calls for free and compulsory elementary education for all children. Also, countries are urged to make higher education accessible for all by the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

But education is even more. It is a tool for peace-building and equality. As such, education comprises one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out by the UN. SDG number 4 aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.” It addresses ten specific targets or milestones towards the overarching goal.

NGOs Promoting Education around the World

Hundreds of humanitarian organizations around the world are working to promote, provide and improve education. Compassionate individuals travel to the most remote locations to ensure access to education services. These are just a few examples of amazing NGOs promoting education.

1. Khan Academy

The Kahn Academy aims to provide free and accessible education to anyone, anywhere. The organization has set up a comprehensive education platform, featuring all basic courses online for free. There are resources for both learners and teachers.

2. One Laptop

The organization’s mission is to provide a laptop to every child. One Laptop partners with various donors to this end. Their laptops come with hardware and software designed for children’s learning. The main aim is to reduce the gap in access to technology and education.

3. Citizen Schools

To help students succeed, Citizen Schools takes on a real-world approach. They set up networks of mentors to support children in developing their future. The organization also organized hands-on learning opportunities and skills training.

4. Teach for All

Originating in the United States, Teach for All now works in more than 40 countries around the world. They promote and develop new methodologies for classrooms, and train local leaders to transform education in their countries. Also, Teach for All maintains an extensive network of alumni, who continue to impact education around the world.

5. Child Empowerment International

Children living in conflict zones often miss out on learning opportunities. Child Empowerment International establishes day schools for refugees, displaced persons and other communities where children lack access to schooling. They also work with children suffering from psychological traumas associated with facing violence and conflict.

6. World Education

Operating in over 20 countries, World Education also strives to improve people’s quality of life through education. The organization works with both adults and children. Their courses focus on improving livelihoods, basic skills, as well as specialized topics relevant to each context they operate in.

7. Smile Foundation

The Foundation provides basic education and healthcare services to children across India. Their Mission Education projects include education services for all ages. Their particular focus is on educating girls and women, to bridge the gender gap and empower their families.

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