September 26, 2020

International Day to Protect Education From Attack – An Overview

Image by ©EAA-Maher Attar: The single-room school is in a former chapel.  Four teachers, each with a blackboard, teach different classes in the room’s four corners. Moron District, Guitonniere, Haiti.

On 28 May 2020, UN General Assembly Resolution A/74/275 established the International Day to Protect Education from Attack on 9 September. The Resolution was spearheaded by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Education Above All (EAA) Foundation and UN Sustainable Development Goals Advocate, on behalf of the State of Qatar and co-sponsored by 62 countries. A long-term advocate of this urgent issue, HH Sheikha Moza aimed to draw attention to the plight of more than 75 million 3-to-18-year-olds living in 35 crisis-affected countries and to their urgent need of educational support. In light of the global pandemic, she has called on the international community to “ensure that the diseases of armed conflict and illiteracy that were prevalent before do not spread further”.

It reaffirms the protection of education as a fundamental human right for all, especially in times of conflict and insecurity. It comes amidst a global pandemic that has exacerbated existing inequities, particularly in marginalised societies.

Over the past five years, there have been more than 11,000 reported attacks on education in over 36 countries, according to the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA). Many of these attacks included the use of aerial bombing and shelling. 22,000 students, teachers and academics were killed, injured, arrested or otherwise harmed in attacks between 2015-2019.

#UniteToProtect Campaign

In the leadup to 9 September 2020, Education Above All (EAA) Foundation is launching #UniteToProtecta Global Campaign to Protect Education from Attack with our partners UNICEF, UNESCO and Save Our Future campaign. The campaign has been launched with the aim to end the impunity for education-related violations of international law, create a strong ethos built on global justice, highlight the crucial need to strengthen mechanisms for the protection of education in private and public agendas, drive top-down and grassroots protection, and ensure uninterrupted access to quality education.

To learn more about EAA’s #UniteToProtect campaign for the International Day to Protect Education from Attack, visit http://unitetoprotect.educationaboveall.org/.

#UniteToProtect Key Facts 

  • EAA is committed to the protection of education as a fundamental human right. We believe all children and youth deserve uninterrupted access to education, especially in times of conflict and insecurity. 
  • Attacks on education are systemic and deliberate; reflective of a disturbing recurring trend around the world. Recent data by GCPEA shows:
  • COVID-19 has exacerbated the inequities in education:
  • The pandemic already put a billion learners out of school and led to 184 country-wide school closures.
  • The pandemic could force at least 9.7 million children out of school forever by the end of this year, according to a new report by Save the Children.
  • EAA will continue to fiercely advocate and raise global ambition for the protection of  the right to education in today’s uncertain and rapidly changing world of global pandemics, increasing conflict, extremism, migration, climate change and poverty.

About Education Above All (EAA) Foundation

The Education Above All (EAA) Foundation is a global education foundation established in 2012 by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. EAA envisions bringing hope and real opportunity to the lives of impoverished and marginalised children, youth and women, especially in the developing world and in difficult circumstances such as conflict situations and natural disasters. We believe that education is the single most effective means of reducing poverty, generating economic growth and creating peaceful and just societies, as well as a fundamental right for all children and an essential condition to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For more information, visit educationaboveall.org 

EAA is comprised of four programmes: Educate A Child (EAC), Al Fakhoora, Reach Out To Asia (ROTA) and Protect Education in Insecurity and Conflict (PEIC). In addition to providing access to education for children around the world, EAA advocates to safeguard inclusive and quality education for all.

For more information, please visit www.educationaboveall.org.

About HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser

Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser has been actively engaged in education and other social reforms in Qatar for many years and has played a major role in spearheading national and international development projects – including leading Qatar’s presentation of Resolution 74/275 to the UN to establish the International Day to Protect Education from Attack. 

HH works with the United Nations to support global education and other key areas of development for marginalised children and youth, through her role as Sustainable Development Goals Advocate, among other UN roles. She is also Chairperson of Qatar Foundation (QF) and Founder and Chairperson of Silatech, an initiative that promotes enterprise and job creation in the Arab world with a mission to connect young people with employment and enterprise opportunities.

For more information, please visit www.mozabintnasser.qa/en

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