International Youth Day 2019: Transforming Education

12 August 2019

Global

Photo: Carly Learson/UNFPA Bangladesh

The theme of International Youth Day 2019, “Transforming education”, highlights efforts to make education more inclusive and accessible for all youth, including efforts by youth themselves. Rooted in Goal 4 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” –  , International Youth Day 2019 will examine how Governments, young people and youth-led and youth-focused organizations, as well as other stakeholders, are transforming education so that it becomes a powerful tool to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Inclusive and accessible education is crucial to achieving sustainable development and can play a role in the prevention of conflict. Indeed, education is a ‘development multiplier’ as it plays a pivotal role in accelerating progress across all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, be it poverty eradication, good health, gender equality, decent work and growth, reduced inequalities, action on climate or peaceful societies. Education should lead to relevant and effective learning outcomes, with the content of school curricula being fit for purpose, not only for the 4th industrial revolution and the future of work, but also for the opportunities – and challenges – that rapidly changing social contexts bring.

The crucial role that quality education plays in youth development is well recognized. In addition, comprehensive youth development benefits society-at-large. However, what is less known is the fact that young people themselves are active champions of inclusive and accessible education.  Youth-led organizations, as well as individual youth, together with various stakeholders and Governments, are concretely transforming education so that it becomes a fundamental tool both for sustainable development and for the full inclusion of various social groups. For example, youth-led organizations are transforming education via lobbying and advocacy, partnerships with educational institutions, the development of complementary training programs, etc.

For more, please visit: https://www.un.org/development/desa/youth/iyd2019.html

The origins of International Youth Day

In 1999, in its resolution 54/120, the General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth (Lisbon, 8-12 August 1998) that 12 August be declared International Youth Day. The Assembly recommended that public information activities be organized to support the Day as a way to promote better awareness of the World Programme of Action for Youth, adopted by the General Assembly in 1995 (resolution 50/81).

International Youth Day is commemorated every year on 12 August.

The Focal Point on Youth selects a theme for the day often with input from youth organizations and members of the UN Inter-Agency Network in Youth development. It also organizes a commemoration of the Day at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

The Programme encourages youth around the world to organize activities to raise awareness about the situation of youth in their country. Youth are encouraged to send in a description of their planned activities to youth@un.org.

The most creative activities are featured on the Programme’s website to provide a sense of how International Youth Day is being commemorated around the world and to encourage other youth to take action.