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International Day of Education 2024

Today IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society, is marking the sixth International Day of Education.

Two students hugging. Credit: Darshina Witharana via Shutterstock.

Education is foundational to the focus of this year’s theme, learning for lasting peace. 

As a world-leading institution for education, IOE is a hub for an expanding array of research, teaching and civic engagement around education, conflict and peacebuilding. These endeavours attempt to safeguard every childs’ right to quality education despite threats of violent conflicts, mass displacement, natural disasters, and growing social and economic inequalities around the world. 

Our academics also use their insights and voices to call for peace with justice in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel – in this blog, colleagues from the Centre for Education and International Development emphasise the vital connection between education and fostering lasting peace and justice in challenging geopolitical contexts. 

Yet while acknowledging the gravity of global events, we also recognise that hope is a vital ingredient in the way we teach about global issues. This ensures our learners feel empowered to act as co-creators of a more equitable future – for a deeper dive into this perspective, listen to our Research for the Real World episode, A “pedagogy of hope"?

More recently an IOE research team has joined the Education Research in Conflict and Protracted Crises (ERICC) Research Programme Consortium. The consortium, funded by the British Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO), is dedicated to transforming education policy and practice in conflict and protracted crises globally. It represents the most extensive research programme to date on education in conflict and crisis.  

Dr Tejendra Pherali will co-lead the ERICC consortium as co-Research Director alongside the involvement of Professor Elaine Chase and Drs Simone Datzberger and Amy North. The countries in focus include Bangladesh (Cox’s Bazar), Jordan, Lebanon, Myanmar, Nigeria, South Sudan and Syria. 

Professor Li Wei, Director and Dean of IOE, said:

“As we mark this sixth International Day of Education, the role of education in promoting peace and development is as urgent and pressing as ever.

“Fundamental to this, is access to education. There are still far too many children and young people who are unable to access the schooling that should be theirs by right.

“And while education alone cannot secure peace, it is a vital component – in challenging misinformation and prejudice, and in developing individuals’ understanding of complex histories and of their own agency to effect positive change. It is pivotal to the process of dialogue, mutual understanding, forgiveness and reconciliation.

“In that regard, education for peace-building is the job of every education system.

“The work of many of my colleagues at IOE is concerned directly with championing education for more just, inclusive and peaceful societies, the objective of UNESCO’s International Day of Education.

“So on behalf of IOE, I pay tribute to all the administrators and teachers working in extraordinarily challenging circumstances to sustain young people’s education amidst conflict, providing hope for those children and for a more peaceful future.”



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