International Day of Education is a global observance held annually on January 24 to promote the need for education. The United Nations General Assembly adopted with consensus a resolution proclaiming January 24 as International Day of Education On December 3, 2018. By doing so, the international community highlighted how education plays a key role in building sustainable and resilient societies. It is marked with a theme which focuses on the pressing issues of that year. International Day of Education 2020 theme is 'Learning for people, planet, prosperity and peace'.
The UN states that the theme "highlights the integrated nature of education, its humanistic aims, as well as its centrality to our collective development ambitions. It also gives stakeholders and partners the flexibility to tailor the celebration for diverse audiences, a variety of contexts and for priority themes".
Talking about International Day of Education, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said, "We must do far more to advance Sustainable Development Goal 4, to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all."
The day focuses on three factors mainly:
Education is a human right
Education is key to sustainable development
Challenges to achieving universal education
Introducing the resolution to the General Assembly, H.E. Tijjani Muhammad Bande, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations highlighted that proclamation of January 24 as the International Day of Education is a step to promote education as a critical aspect of sustainable development. He focused on why education is not only a human right, but a path for sustainable development.
About 265 million children and adolescents around the world do not have the opportunity to either enter or complete school today. Around 617 million children and adolescents cannot read and do basic math; less than 40% of girls in sub-Saharan Africa complete lower secondary school and some four million children and youth refugees are out of school.