By Liapeng Raliengoane

MASERU – The International Day of Education highlighted the importance of education in all aspects of life and stressed that it is a human right.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Lesotho in partnership with Lesotho Council of Non-Governmental Organizations (LCN) held a deliberation forum in celebration of the International Day of Education, together with stakeholders in education last week in Maseru.

Speaking at the event, the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET), Government and Community Schools Supervisor Motsamai Motsamai, said this day marked an important day in the history of Lesotho. That this event would have stakeholders discussing and deliberating on issues affecting education in the country.

Council on Higher Education (CHE) Principal Secretary, Dr. John Oliphant, highlighted the importance of education. That Education is one of the most powerful instruments for reducing poverty and inequality. He said in the classrooms, learning is not a one way street but students should be allowed to interact and stress their arguments.

LCN Programmes Director, Sekonyela Mapetja, expressed that the “SDG 4 (Quality education) comprises of human capital. If we have human capital, we can encounter and fulfil all other SDGs.”

UNESCO National Programme Officer, Lineo ‘Malesaoana Molapo, also added that they are accelerating efforts to utilize SDG 4 (Quality education) and that deliberating on what the government can do to address, upscale or upgrade education.

“For learning to happen, teachers need to be re-skilled and skilled,” she pointed out.

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 24 January as International Day of Education, in celebration of the role of education for peace and development.

The fifth International Day of Education was celebrated on 24 January 2023 under the theme “to invest in people, prioritize education.” Building on the global momentum generated by the United Nations Transforming Education Summit in September 2022.

This year’s Day called for maintaining strong political mobilization around education and chart the way to translate commitments and global initiatives into action. Education must be prioritized to accelerate progress towards all the Sustainable Development Goals against the backdrop of a global recession, growing inequalities and the climate crisis.

UNESCO dedicated this year’s International Day to girls and women in Afghanistan who have been deprived of their right to education. It is calling for the immediate lifting of the ban restricting their access to education.