Embracing change on the International Day of Education

The critical role of education for inclusion, peace and prosperity was recognised by the United Nations General Assembly in its proclamation to celebrate the International Day of Education each year on 24 January.

2022 is the fourth year of celebration and the theme is “Changing Course, Transforming Education”. The Covid-19 pandemic reinforced inequalities in education. As the ETF mapping studies of the impact of the pandemic in countries of the EU’s neighbouring regions illustrated, societies which had already begun the digital transition in the education system were better able to adapt to the challenges of the pandemic. The urgent and swift digital transition had many success stories, not least of which the responsiveness of teachers and students to the sudden transformation.

Nevertheless, across the world the pandemic created further strain in terms of access and inclusion for learners already facing difficulties due to socio-economic circumstances, and/or specific learning needs. The focus on transformation is about finding a new equilibrium for all and the importance of education and skills development for reconciling the digital and green transitions based on equity, inclusion and democracy as outlined in UNESCO’s recent global Futures of Education report, and the ETF’s international conference, held jointly with UNESCO in 2021, ‘Building lifelong learning systems: skills for green and inclusive societies in the digital era’. Read the conference conclusions.

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