International Day of Education 2024: The International Day of Education is annually celebrated on January 24. This year marks the sixth year of the celebration, under the theme ‘learning for lasting peace’.
The day will be celebrated with several events such as ‘High level dialogue on learning for lasting peace’ at UNHQ (New York), a festival on the lines of ‘Learning to take care of oneself, others and the planet’, and much more.
Why is it celebrated on January 24?
In 2018, January 24 was declared as the International Day of Education by a resolution that was passed by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on December 3, 2018. Following this, the first International Day of Education was observed on January 24, 2019.
Since then, January 24 is annually celebrated as the International Day of Education. The 2024 celebration is the sixth year of celebration.
Understanding this year’s theme
The theme of the 2024 celebrations is ‘learning for lasting peace’. The thought behind this theme has been explained by the UNESCO as: the world is seeing a surge of violent conflicts paralleled by an alarming rise of discrimination, racism, xenophobia, and hate speech. The impact of this violence transcends any boundary based on geography, gender, race, religion, politics, offline and online. An active commitment to peace is more urgent today than ever: 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.
“The accelerated spread of hate speech is a threat to all communities. Our best defense is education, which must be at the heart of any peace efforts. It is our collective duty to empower learners of all ages to deconstruct hate speech, and lay the foundations for inclusive, democratic and human-rights respecting societies. To succeed, we need to better train and support teachers who are on the front lines in overcoming this phenomenon,” Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General said.
Keeping this in mind, UNESCO is dedicating this year’s celebrations to the crucial role education and teachers play in countering hate speech, which has seen an increase in recent years due to the emergence of social media.
On January 24, UNESCO will organise a one-day online training for several thousand teachers from around the world on the deconstruction of hate speech, which will give them the tools to spot, tackle and prevent hate speech incidents.