“Education is the pathway out of poverty and the foundation for a better future” – so states one of the many organizations celebrating the International Day of Education on January 24. This is the fourth year on which Education Day has been celebrated by UNESCO and the United Nations.
Despite the commendable efforts of UNESCO and other international organizations, the path to a sound and equitable education remains blocked for millions of young people across the world. In 2018, some 260 million school-age children were not in school – and in April 2020, as COVID-19 raged, that number temporarily jumped to 1.6 billion.
If all the world’s children received a quality education in languages they readily understood and with access to modern technology, our ability to address world problems would vastly increase, our reserves of human capital would be far higher, and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals would be much closer to realization.
The Esperanto movement strongly supports quality education for all, including lifelong learning. Our movement brings people together, virtually and in person, through the International Language Esperanto from well over a hundred countries across the world. Many speakers of Esperanto are teachers, and many are young people who believe that international co-operation is the key to the betterment of humankind and who communicate with one another in a single language in an international setting.
We call on the United Nations and UNESCO to redouble their efforts to improve education for all, and to reach out to all who believe that knowledge brings understanding and understanding leads to a better future. We pledge our co-operation and support.