Secretary-General António Guterres message on International Day of Education, 24 January
24 January 2022
Secretary-General António Guterres message on International Day of Education
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused chaos in education worldwide.
Some 1.6 billion school and college students had their studies interrupted at the peak of the pandemic -- and it’s not over yet.
Today, school closures continue to disrupt the lives of over 31 million students, exacerbating a global learning crisis.
Unless we take action, the share of children leaving school in developing countries who are unable to read could increase from 53 to 70 percent.
But the turmoil in education goes beyond questions of access and inequality.
Our world is changing at a dizzying pace, with technological innovation, unprecedented changes in the world of work, the onset of the climate emergency, and a widespread loss of trust between people and institutions.
Conventional education systems are struggling to deliver the knowledge, skills and values we need to create a greener, better and safer future for all.
Education is a preeminent public good, and an essential enabler for the entire 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
On this International Day of Education, and as we prepare for the Summit later this year, I call on everyone to unite around education as a public good and a top political priority for the recovery and beyond.