The power of quality education to transform the world
By Elkanah Nyauma
During 2020’s International Day of Education, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, former President of the United Nations General Assembly in his message for the day said the education sector is wrestling with mammoth challenges worldwide. This is becoming even clearer by the day.
Promoting quality and inclusive education with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is key to reducing poverty and promoting economic and social development in the world.
Quality education has the potential to change the world. It protects women and men against abuse in the labour market” and empowers women and gives them the opportunity to make decisions.
Additionally, it can help change people’s mindsets and behaviors and this way fight climate change and unsustainable behavior.
Quality education helps promote harmony and respect between different people; combating non-constructive misconceptions, hate and hate speech; and to prevent violent extremism.
Without quality education, we would not be able to achieve any of the SDGs. We are approaching 2030, yet the world has not achieved its goals.
The number of children, adolescents and adults who are not in education also is alarming. Most of them are illiterate. Refugees and migrants also face even greater challenges.
According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), out of the total 24 percent refugees enrolled in secondary education, only 3% receive higher education.
I believe we can do better. We have the potential to change the world’s education sector and move forward, but only if we work together to bring about partnerships for the goals that are essential to providing quality education.
We have a responsibility to double our efforts, or even do better so that quality education for all is no longer the goal of tomorrow, but a reality, today.
According to UN Assembly President Abdulla Shahid, we can fix the education crisis by:
- Ensuring instruction does not decline.
- Promotion of gender equality, social mobility, intercultural understanding in learning.
- Aligning school curricula and work needs for competencies and skills.
- Responding to education challenges caused by weather and conflict
- Safeguarding the inclusion of persons with disabilities in education.
- Bridge the current digital, financing and gender gaps in education.
- Enhancing the capacities of education systems working in collaboration with education planners, governments, and administrators.