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Editorial: Rights to Education

24 January is considered and celebrated as International Education Day. As per UNESCO data, around 258 million children are out of school, 617 million children and adolescents cannot read and do basic math around the globe. On December 3, 2018, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted a resolution by 58 other member states, demonstrating the unwavering political will to support transformative actions for inclusive, equitable and quality education for all. Now is the time to power education by stepping up collaboration and international solidarity to place education and lifelong learning at the centre of the recovery. Afghanistan also celebrates this day as the role of education for peace and development.  Every year, International Education Day is celebrated with some particular theme. Considering the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s theme was “Recover and Revitalize Education for the Covid-19 Generation.” Without doubt, education plays a very important role in everyone’s life in general and leads to the development of his/her country in particular. An educated society would be able to take accountable the government, and monitor their leader’s activities. It won’t be wrong to say that education is a human right, a public good, and a public responsibility.

Afghanistan also had a greatest accomplishment in increasing access to education for all Afghans, especially for girls, who were barred from going to schools during the Taliban regime. Women were also banned from public appearance without male accompaniment, and from workplaces. The door of education was completely closed for the girls. But this is not the situation at the moment. Over nine million children are now enrolled in school, and over three million girls also enrolled in community-based education classes. But despite the tremendous achievements, 3.7 million Afghan children are still deprived of education. We opened our first modern school around 117 years ago, but still have a long way to go to popularize education in the highly traditional society. Other factors like the ongoing war, poverty, and social taboos, are another challenge ahead of Afghan children’s education. Anyways, despite all these challenges, the level of education in Afghanistan is currently unprecedented in the history of this country. But it doesn’t mean all is well. The government with cooperation with the international community and donors must accelerate efforts to make sure every Afghan child is going to school. Their right to education should not be violated and it should not be acceptable by the government and education-supporting agencies.

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