In 2019, the United Nations (UN) established the International Day of Education (IDE), as part of their ongoing effort to improve access to education worldwide. This Sunday 24th January 2021 will be its third occurrence, and MDPI joins the UN, Unicef and others in celebrating this important awareness event.
As well as being a human right, education has the power to help end poverty, however, it is estimated that 258 million children and young people have no access to education.
Notably, this year’s celebration is quite unlike the previous two. Access to education has faced and is still facing, a new threat in 2020 and 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic has put a strain on in-person education and has caused the cancellation of various programmes designed to help achieve the UN’s fourth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG): Education. These seventeen SDGs act as “a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future”.
This makes the significance and relevance of this year’s International Day of Education greater than ever. In accordance, the theme will be “Recover and Revitalize Education for the COVID-19 Generation”, acknowledging the terrible impact of the pandemic on education across the world.
Despite advances in technology helping to facilitate learning from home, a study in Sustainability revealed that there are also challenges associated with virtual learning environments, including student dissatisfaction and demotivation. This clearly poses a threat to students’ ability to learn. Notably, this also affects those in higher education who publish their research in MDPI journals.
As well as taking the time to be considerate of the pressures that authors are now faced with, MDPI fully supports access to education and knowledge, with much research in our many journals being devoted to the UN’s fourth SDG. Here are some examples:
- “Intra- and Inter-Group Differences in the Cognitive Skills of Toddler Twins with Birth Weight Discordance: The Need to Enhance Their Future from Early Education” in Sustainability highlights the importance of early schooling to achieve SDG 4, by comparing the cognitive development of two groups of twins, with birth weight being considered.
- “Examining Gender Safety in Schools: Teacher Agency and Resistance in Two Primary Schools in Kirinyaga, Kenya” in Education Sciences analyses gender equality in an education setting and reveals how gender influences children’s access to education, and thereby the achievement of SDG 4.
- “Fostering the Social Development of Children with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) through Dialogue and Interaction: A Literature Review” in Social Sciences summarises and analyses the existing literature on the social development of children with special educational needs and/or disabilities. These social skills are noted to be important for education.
Our open access format means that all of these published articles and more are instantly available on our website, free of charge, which we hope will encourage further research on access to education topics, including Sustainable Development Goal 4, the impact of COVID-19 on education, and the International Day of Education.
Please join us in celebrating the International Day of Education, to raise awareness of these important issues and the challenges faced by children and students all around the world.