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  • Elementary students in a classroom, Cuba, 2019.

    Elementary students in a classroom, Cuba, 2019. | Photo: Twitter/@CarloTresero

Published 11 December 2020
Opinion

UNESCO Director Azoulay stressed that this fundamental human right must be protected defend every day, especially in the face of new forms of digital exclusion.

The United Nations Organization for Education, Science, and Culture (UNESCO) on Friday urged all countries to ratify the Convention Against Discrimination in Education, a multilateral instrument that turns 60 next Monday.

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The international agency asked all countries to protect "better" the fundamental right to learn and recalled that the pandemic threatens to leave the most vulnerable children without education.

It also launched an awareness campaign to broaden understanding of the right to education and stressed that governments must realize that digital inclusion, data privacy, and access to lifelong learning have become crucial needs.

The Convention Against Discrimination in Education was approved on December 14, 1960, and has been ratified by 106 countries to date.

"When they ratify the Convention, countries establish or improve legal frameworks to meet international standards, guarantee the right to education, and counteract discrimination," UNESCO Director Audrey Azoulay stressed.

"Education is a fundamental human right that we must guarantee and defend every day, especially in the face of new and serious forms of digital exclusion," she added.

Currently, at least 258 million minors do not attend school, and 773 million adults are still illiterate worldwide, according to UNESCO data.

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