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International Day of Education 2023

By John Coster

Today marks the International Day of Education.

Across our social media platforms, I’ve been sharing impactful content from many global organisations advocating for access to education for all, especially young girls.

Every report, study, and high-level speech delivers undeniable evidence of the value of education for ordinary people living in the most challenging conditions across the global south. Here in the UK, I’ve come to believe people don’t value the free education they receive. If they don’t know its value, why would they advocate for everyone to have access to it? International students understand. Those that support global NGOs or those that have bothered to travel to places that educate as well as provide sun-party-beach-tainment, are aware of the benefits that come from education.

I was fortunate to host a visit today by an international student Zeeshan from Pakistan. He told me about life back home in Quetta and the situation that his people, the Hazaras, find themselves in… a crossroads of history, geography, and politics.

Yet, our conversation quickly turned from his aspirations for the future to focus on what he had already achieved and the Award won by a documentary he was involved in (see below). By reflecting on what had already been accomplished we were able to discuss and start to shape, a way forward in the development of his portfolio and his contribution to the Parallel Lives Network as an issue expert. The future? Being a documentary filmmaker with unique insight on the challenges of being from a community on the fringes.

It was a genuine pleasure to welcome him and hear his story. I look forward to hosting his content in the Pakistan section of the Parallel Lives Archive and am delighted he is joining the events team for the upcoming documentary festival planned in April.

The year 2023 marks the mid-point since the UN adopted the 2030 Agenda for people, planet, and prosperity, with a set of 17 interlocked goals that will come up for review at the SDG Summit in September on the theme of investing in people.