International Education Day Sunday 24th January and, as many parents are currently homeschooling due to the global pandemic, a day to really appreciate what education is, what it means and also that we now have an opportunity to be innovative and change a system that is antiquated. This years theme is ‘Recover and Revitalize Education for the COVID-19 Generation’, but we need to go even further and innovate a system that is more inclusive, celebrates diversity and teaches our young people the ethics and values needed to put our planet first. We need a global education that gives equal opportunity to every child and young person regardless of location or wealth. Whilst we face a climate emergency education could be the key as educating girls and empowering women is one of the most high-impact ways to take positive action on climate change.
Today, 258 million children and youth still don’t attend school; 617 million children and adolescents can’t read and do basic math. Their right to education is being violated and it is unacceptable. (https://en.unesco.org/commemorations/educationday).
Education is a human right and every child and young person should have access, but we need to rethink the system. The current pandemic has completely changed the way we are living our lives and creating an opportunity to innovate education on a global scale. Whilst many people are looking ahead to the end of the pandemic and going back to ‘normal’ we must look further down the road than that and come up with a system that is fair, inclusive and accessible should future lockdowns occur. We need to implement a strategy that embraces technology and can be run seamlessly no matter what is happening in the world.
We also need to go much further than traditional education if we want to restore and rejuvenate this planet. It is imperative that we weave ethics and morality into every lesson and every household. We need to create an education system that teaches our children to value every single person on the planet, to recognise what is harmful and to take action to change it. Whilst lockdowns continue around the world and parents battle to keep their children up to speed through homeschooling remember that there are lessons in everything we do and that educating our young people about mental health and wellbeing, recycling, up cycling and ethics in the current world may may well be more beneficial at this time than traditional ABC’s. It may also be a time to ask your children what they would like the future of education to look like, after all they are the ones that are impacted by it.