By - Ishika Todi, Dharan, Nepal- - -
As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” The very proof of this statement lies in the fact that the planet is dying, the condition of people’s mindsets is worsening by the day, the prosperity of the world and the people of the same is nowhere to be seen and peace has definitely gone down the tubes.
“Learning for the people, planet, prosperity and peace” is the theme of The International Day of Education, 2020 as proclaimed by the UNESCO. This very step gives an insight to the current situation of the world and the health of the planet as well as the vitality of education to improve the condition and the urgency of the same.
Let us talk about how learning can affect the various elements of the statement.
As for people, education is a poweful catalyst for combating poverty and inequality, improving health and well-being and overcoming discrimination. It can strengthen democracy and the rule of law; as well as enhance equality by empowering vulnerable populations. Ultimately, education enables us to confront multidimensional social challenges such as poverty, gender inequality and social isolation.
Next, in the light of development and human actions pertaining to it,a lot of strain is being put on the planet and the life that it supports. According to the scientists, survival is at stake in the planet without significant changes to current development patterns that cause environmental degradation, rapid biodiversity loss and climate change. Formal, informal or non-formal learning opportunities can play a major role in transformation needed to realise more environmentally sustainable societies.
Moving on, analysis conducted by UNESCO indicates that if all people completed Secondary School, world poverty could be cut in half. Education is clearly linked with increased earnings. The rate of return per additional year of schooling is 10%. Thus, education and training can enhance job opportunities, increase the incomes of the poorest and, if equitably provided, reduce inequality.
Finally, preventing violence and achieving sustainable peace requires democratic and representative institutions and well-functioning justice systems. Education is a condition for political participation, inclusion, advocacy and democracy. It can catalyze peace. It has a proven potential to help marginalised populations gain access to justice that contributes to peaceful societies.
Now, let us all imagine living in a healthy planet, with complete harmony, peace and prosperity. What a beautiful world that would be. And the only passage to get there is education.