24th January 2023
This January 24th, Broken Chalk invites you to join us in celebrating International Day of Education.
On this day, we recognize this year’s achievements in education policy while simultaneously considering the ongoing challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, a global rise in armed conflict, increased limitations on freedom of expression, and global economic downturn, which has contributed to limited educational funding, falling education standards, and lower enrollment rates. More than anything, we at Broken Chalk hope to lead the global NGO community to redouble our collective commitment to education.
Let’s first focus on how Broken Chalk has positively contributed to realizing education as a human right in 2022. This year, Broken Chalk conducted significant research into the educational challenges facing over 25 countries, including funding dimensions, enrollment, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic distribution, gender equality, accessibility for disabled students, graduate employment rates, and access to vocational training for young adults. These educational challenges reports, published on our website and social media platforms, raised awareness about certain countries’ most pressing academic problems or most positive educational initiatives.
In addition, Broken Chalk began a new report series summarizing and analyzing the European Union’s 2021 enlargement package for the Western Balkans and Turkey. Specifically, this series produced seven reports, one for each country being considered for accession, noting the areas in which the EU recommended fundamental reforms. Each report examined the subject country’s educational policy, respect for children’s rights, socioeconomic equality, and access to public services according to the EU enlargement package’s metrics and evaluations. As a result, the reports generated critical contemplation about how the EU’s proposed reforms would impact education.
Finally, Broken Chalk participated in the annual United Nations Universal Periodic Review, as we have since our establishment in 2020. The UPR is a unique process by which states consider other states’ human rights policies and records in a peer-to-peer review and reform dialogue. To facilitate this dialogue, NGOs, National Human Rights Institutions, and civil society organizations are invited to submit statements and reports about the subject country’s human rights policies and records. This year, Broken Chalk completed submissions to the UPR for 30 countries. These submissions are vital to the UPR exercise because certain selected comments and recommendations for improvement are sent directly to the discussion floor. This round, many of Broken Chalk’s recommendations have been accepted by the UPR, signifying that Broken Chalk is generating meaningful discussion within the human rights community and tangibly contributing to significant material reforms within countries where human rights violations routinely occur.
Now, consider how Broken Chalk plans to expand its ongoing work with research, reports, and awareness-raising. We will continue our educational challenges reports, hopefully extending to new areas of the world. Scheduled are the reports for 35 more countries, again considering the challenges that the state, its educational bureaucracy, schools, and students face. We will again participate in the 2023 UPR, with plans to submit reports for another 39 countries. Beyond this, we have also planned new initiatives to further education as a human right in 2023. We hope to begin new projects, including new report series and proactive projects with local and global partners on the ground.
On this International Education Day, with the new year still fresh, Broken Chalk remains focused on the most severe issues facing educational institutions and students today. Collectively, global civil society and NGOs must cooperate to transform the future of education. We hope to instigate dialogue about strengthening the quality of education available equally to all, navigating the digital transformation of educational resources, supporting teachers, and guaranteeing a safe and sustainable platform for student voices. This International Education Day, please consider how you can contribute to these goals as an individual and a member of a global human rights community. Education is both a human right and a key to sustainable development, political harmony, and social cohesion. Happy International Day of Education!