The third International Day of Education (January 24) will be marked on Monday 25 January 2021 under the UNESCO theme ‘Recover and Revitalize Education for the COVID-19 Generation’.
Education is the key to personal development and the future of sustainable societies. It is the bedrock of social cohesion, well-being, and opportunity.
As the new year is just beginning, humanity steps in, weakened by a challenge without precedent: school systems are tired; parents are unable to deal with the “new normal”, teachers are at the frontline and need support, poverty is increasing and government policies are uncertain.
We must take bold steps now, targeting girls, the first hit, the hardest to reach.
What should be done when children and young students have been forced to study under a totally new context, submitted to cyber pressure, without the proper tools, many without proper social and family environments, facing breaks in mental health balance?
The hard truth is the high expectation of a legacy of school abandonment and disrupted future generation.
Women will be the most affected, the first ones to abandon school and the last to be rescued in this unequal world.
As UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned in his Policy Brief on Education and COVID19, humanity faces a generational catastrophe that will exacerbate gender inequalities.
So let us place education and lifelong learning at the core center of recovery.
Once again, our Soroptimist unique asset is our global movement that engages powerfully towards the common good.
Let us advocate for educational support and rescue measures for families and communities.
Let us highlight commitments and showcase models and best practices in laws and policies.
We need a COVID-19 adapted and equal educational world.