• The right to education is enshrined in article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
• The declaration calls for free and compulsory elementary education. The Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted in 1989, goes further to stipulate that countries shall make higher education accessible to all.
Education is key to sustainable development
• When it adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015, the international community recognized that education is essential for the success of all 17 of its goals. Sustainable Development Goal 4, in particular, aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” by 2030.
Challenges to achieving universal education
• Education offers children a ladder out of poverty and a path to a promising future. But about 265 million children and adolescents around the world do not have the opportunity to enter or complete school.
• More than a fifth of them are of primary school age.
• They are thwarted by poverty, discrimination, armed conflict, emergencies and the effects of climate change.
• Migration and forcible displacement also affect the achievement of the education goals, as presented in the 2019 Global Education Monitoring report.
Celebrating the first International Day of Education in 2019
• By proclaiming the International Day of Education, UN member states recognized the importance of working to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels – so that all people may have access to lifelong learning opportunities that help them to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to access opportunities to participate fully in society and contribute to sustainable development.
Mains Paper 2: Governance
Prelims level: International Day of Education