The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has dedicated the International Day of Education, 2024, which is being celebrated on January 24, to the key role education and teachers play in countering hate speech.
In an official statement, UNESCO said the alarming rise of discrimination, racism, xenophobia, and hate speech has transcended boundaries of geography, gender, race, religion, and politics, necessitating an urgent and active commitment to peace.
“Education is central to this endeavor, as underlined by the UNESCO Recommendation on Education for Peace, Human Rights and Sustainable Development. Learning for peace must be transformative, and help empower learners with the necessary knowledge, values, attitudes and skills and behaviours to become agents of peace in their communities,” UNESCO said.
With International Education Day 2024, UNESCO aims to achieve seven key goals:
- Mobilize Member States and partners to maintain education at the top of the political agenda and deliver on their TES and Education 2030 commitments.
- Generate visibility at the local and global levels on the importance of education in strengthening and sustaining peace.
- Advocate for higher levels of domestic and international financing for education in general and education for peace in particular through innovative and multistakeholder mechanisms and partnerships.
- Highlight and celebrate the peacemaking role of youth and educators towards just, inclusive and peaceful societies.
- Provide a platform to discuss priorities and challenges for education for peace in contexts of increased protracted global crisis and conflicts.
- Rally influencers and the wider civil society to push forward the movement to bring education into the center of local, national, regional and global peacebuilding efforts.
- Raise awareness for effective approaches in education for peace and mobilize commitment for their implementation.
History of International Day of Education
On December 6, 2018, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming January 24 as the International Day of Education in recognition of the role of education in peace and development.
India also celebrates National Education Day, on November 11 every year to commemorate the birth anniversary of independent India’s first education minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad.