WESTERN BALKANS – Today marks the International Day of Education. Proclaimed in 2018, it honors education and its centrality to human well-being and sustainable development. RYCO joins the celebration and adapts the 2020 theme ‘Learning for people, planet, prosperity and peace’ to the Western Balkans.
RYCO strongly believes that education plays a pivotal role in peacebuilding and reconciliation. That is why we are actively supporting schools, teachers and people working in the field of youth education that are committed to, or proactively engaged in, regional youth exchange and cooperation. We remain convinced that education is one of the most powerful tools for changing the region.
It is clear that young people who are more exposed to civic education programs have different attitudes and behaviors than less educated young people and older generations. Empirical evidence shows that these attitudes and behaviors change in direct correlation with the level of education. However, it is not simply academic education that seems to be the determining factor. Social, informal and political educations are key factors, too.
As defined by the United Nations, education is a human right. The right to education is enshrined in article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The declaration calls for free and compulsory elementary education. The Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted in 1989, goes further to stipulate that countries shall make higher education accessible to all.
On its 44th plenary meeting held on 3 December 2018, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 24 January the International Day of Education.