International Education Day 2021


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25 January 2021

On 24 and 25 January 2021, UNESCO learning cities from around the world will celebrate the International Day of Education (January 24) under the theme ‘Recover and Revitalize Education for the COVID-19 Generation’. 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.

David Atchoarena, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), emphasizes: ‘Cities across the globe have been at the forefront of efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Under immense pressure, they have implemented innovations in education and reinforced lifelong learning programmes. They have ensured that learning continued during the crisis, and that citizens of all ages benefited from health education so that they could take steps to protect themselves, their loved ones and society as a whole. On International Day of Education, I congratulate all UNESCO learning cities on their tireless efforts. I call upon everyone to use the valuable lessons learned during the pandemic for a future in which lifelong learning is a reality for all’.

Selected contributions from UNESCO learning cities

updated regularly


UNESCO learning city of Benguérir, Morocco: Webinar 'Learning in the context of COVID-19' (22 January 2021, 10.30-12.30h CET)

UNESCO learning city of Lucca, Italy: Webinar 'Education for sustainable development' (25 January 2021, 9.00-13.00h CET)

UNESCO learning city of Thermi, Greece: Weekly webinar (starting on 23 January 2021)

Video messages


Background on International Day of Education

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 24 January as International Day of Education, in celebration of the role of education for peace and development. Without inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong opportunities for all, countries will not succeed in achieving gender equality and breaking the cycle of poverty that is leaving millions of children, youth and adults behind.

Background on the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities

The UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC) is an international, policy-oriented network geared towards knowledge production and sharing, peer learning and capacity-building. UNESCO GNLC members benefit from sharing lifelong learning policies and practices with other cities in the network; developing and exchanging knowledge on key challenges and solutions; taking part in training initiatives; and participating in regional and global events. Within the framework of its strategy for 2019–2021, the network is focusing on seven key priorities areas of action: education for sustainable development; equity and inclusion; educational planning, monitoring and evaluation; education for global citizenship; entrepreneurship; learning for health and well-being; and literacy.

Case studies

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