International Education Day 2021: Public responsibility and safeguarding education for the COVID-19 generation
The GSF joins the global community in celebration of the International Education Day
The theme for this year’s IED is “Recover and Revitalize Education for the COVID-19 Generation.” COVID-19 has disrupted the learning of students on an unprecedented scale and exacerbated social and economic inequalities that excluded people from accessing quality education prior to the pandemic. 1.6 billion learners in more than 190 countries have been impacted by this disruption to the education system. Against this backdrop, student organisations and movements fight for greater inclusion in policy decision-making, the enhancement of human rights, and deeper investment in educational development by governments to promote social cohesion and collective well-being.
In order to advance educational justice, governments must protect and consider further investment in budgetary allocations to the education sector. Safeguarding education and the creation of a system that is responsive to the needs of socially excluded groups can achieve an equitable recovery and challenge student disengagement with learning. The increasing calls for entrepreneurship and private sector innovation should not detract from the need for public investment in education. Education is a public good for all and students should not be denied access to it.
We call upon all governments to draw on the untapped resources of student organizations and movements to defend education as a human right, public good, and public responsibility.