The 24th of January has been declared the International Day Of Education by the United Nations, and this day could not come soon enough. As of this writing, 265 million children and adolescents around the world do not attend school; 617 children and adolescents cannot read and do basic Mathematics while less than 40% of girls in sub-sahara Africa complete lower secondary school.

Nigeria is one of the 59 countries that created and adopted the International Day Of Education. The active involvement serves as the member countries’ show of political support toward inclusive and equitable quality education for all in need. This dedication is perhaps reflected in the current federal governments’ ‘One Meal A Day’ program, which was designed as an initiative to encourage child school attendance and reduce absenteeism. The impact of this program is yet to manifest due to poor implementation practices.

It is evident that education is not only important as one of the 17 SDG goals, it is also a key element in realizing the other goals. Marie Paule Roudil, the Director of UNESCO NY, stressed that asides classroom education, practicals that involve solutions are curatorial in training the leaders of tomorrow and crucial for global goals. To this effect, many private entities around the world have developed schemes to encourage outside school learning for students and young adults. SustyVibes’ Susty Schools and Clubs is an excellent example of this.

Roudil also outlined the role of education in poverty eradication, promoting equality and facilitating new ideas. Moreover, her discourse is complemented by a short animated video by Elyx, the UN’s first digital ambassador, explaining SDG 4 (Quality Education).

As we mark the first ever International Day of Education, it is our hope that governments and all development partners across the globe will double their efforts. There is an urgent need to increase the spread of inclusive and equitable education because without education, the peace and sustainable education the world aspire to will continue to remain elusive.

Tomiwa Isiaka
adetomiwa. identifies as a woman