What can I do to help advance the right to education?

11 October 2018

The right to education is a notion that many take for granted. Yet millions around the world are still deprived from this fundamental right. Simple actions in peoples’ daily lives and work can have a major impact on an ordinary citizen, local communities and beyond.

 

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Are you an engaged citizen?

People can find out and monitor how their countries’ are enacting the various international conventions and agreements that they have signed up to. UNESCO offers a global Observatory that provides valuable data of the right to education in 195 Member States. Check how your country is advancing the right to education. You can also help UNESCO spread the message that education is a human right for everyone.

 

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Are you active online?

Most people in the world know the importance of education. However, many might not be aware that education is a human right protected by the law, and one that must be guaranteed to all by the State. The fact that the right to education is guaranteed by law gives it a concrete and legal substance. One of aims of UNESCO’s campaign on the right to education is to make sure people everywhere are aware of this. Help spread these important messages to your networks.

 

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Are you a journalist?

Journalists can play a key role in ensuring the right to education around the world. They can enlighten and help amplify the importance of accessing education in their communities, and the fact that it is a legal right for everyone. Journalists can give a voice to marginalized and excluded groups who might not be benefiting from their right to learn. They can help unpack essential and sensitive issues that are impeding access to education in their communities and unmask violations of the right to education.

 

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Are you a parent?

Parents everywhere must ensure that their children - girls and boys - equally have access to quality education. Any decision that parents make for their children will have a major impact in their future lives. The influence of parents can go beyond their children and can inspire other members of their families and communities to take the right path on the right to education.

 

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Are you a student?

Helping peers to stay motivated and focused in school can go a long way in ensuring individuals’ right to education. Many children drop out of school for different reasons, and it is usually never their choice. Fellow students can help, encourage and influence their classmates to stay in school and alert relevant authorities if they witness that their right to education is being violated or denied.

 

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Are you a teacher or an educator?

Teachers are one of the most influential and powerful forces for equity, access and quality in education. They can play a major role in shifting mindsets in their communities and empowering girls and boys to learn, dream and succeed. Teachers can tackle many of the obstacles blocking children from accessing education, and alert relevant authorities if their right to education is being violated or denied.

 

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Are you an association or an NGO?

In many parts of the world, physically accessing learning facilities can be a major challenge and is often a reason for not benefiting from the right to education. Limited infrastructure, lack of access to basic services, and impossible distances between homes and schools can stop learners from accessing education. Fees related to enrolment, uniform, canteen and transportation are just some elements that can create obstacles to learning for children. These crucial issues must be tackled. Associations and NGOs, working both locally and globally, to address these challenges should be supported.

 

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Are you a lawyer?

Accountability in education is key. Lawyers and magistrates can make a difference by informing citizens about their judicial right to education. They can take the necessary legal measures when this fundamental right is being violated, and denounce to appropriate authorities when the law is not being implemented as it should.

 

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Are you a parliamentarian?

Parliamentarians and lawmakers are the guardians of the right to education and must ensure that this fundamental right is not denied to anyone in their respective jurisdictions and States. They can help strengthen education laws and guarantee that international conventions and agreements are being legislated and implemented. Parliamentarians can influence key government decisions and actions on education.

 

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Are you a policy-maker?

Policy-makers must ensure that human rights principles are applied to all aspects of educational activities. They must guide institutions by paving the road towards good governance, transparent and accountable educational systems that able to meet the needs of all learners. Policy-makers must ensure that the right to education and international commitments are duly reflected in national legal and policy agendas.

 

Join UNESCO’s #RightToEducation campaign and help spread the word about this key human right that has the power and potential to transform lives around the world.

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