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Education for All

Education draws forth our latent abilities and brings the inherent potential of our humanity to bloom. Education empowers individuals and uplifts communities. Studies show that expanding access to education enhances social equality, improves economies and reduces violence. Education can unlock big changes that can reshape the world.

The world is experiencing an education crisis, made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. In September world leaders will meet to decide how to tackle this global challenge. These decisions will impact hundreds of millions of lives.

Concrete steps toward education for all from the 2022 Peace Proposal:

  • Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global focus has been on public health and economic recovery. However, in addition to these issues is the pandemic’s impact on children and youth in the form of disrupted educational services and the loss of learning opportunities due to school closures. There are still enormous numbers of young learners stranded on the wrong side of the digital divide, unable to access the necessary means for distance learning. I cannot stress strongly enough the importance of strengthening international cooperation to ensure uninterrupted education for all children.
  • Another matter of key importance is to accelerate the provision of inclusive education, which guarantees the right to learning and education for children and young people with disabilities.
  • In September this year (2022), the UN will convene the Transforming Education Summit. I believe this presents a perfect opportunity for productive discussions on such themes as education in emergencies and inclusive education. The agenda could also include learning for global citizenship as a crucial means of fostering the consciousness of global solidarity, which can serve as a shared basis for tackling the common crises facing humankind. I further encourage those involved to develop and adopt a global action plan for the learning, growth and happiness of all children.

More on Daisaku Ikeda’s engagement in education:

The reason Daisaku Ikeda describes the promotion and development of education as “the culminating undertaking of my life.”
In this address to the first graduating class of Soka University of America, Daisaku Ikeda reflects on the core spirit of education.
Animated films of Daisaku Ikeda’s children’s stories about universal values such as the preciousness of life

Quotations on Education

“Education makes us free. The world of knowledge and of the intellect is where all people can meet and converse. Education liberates people from prejudice. It frees the human heart from its violent passions. It is education that severs the dark fetters of ignorance about the laws that govern the universe.”—Daisaku Ikeda, Rajiv Gandhi Institute for Contemporary Studies, New Delhi, October 1997

“The task of education must be fundamentally to ensure that knowledge serves to further the cause of human happiness and peace.”—Daisaku Ikeda, Columbia University Teachers College, New York, June 1996

“Education must inspire the faith that each of us has both the power and the responsibility to effect positive change on a global scale.”—Daisaku Ikeda, “The Challenge of Global Empowerment: Education for a Sustainable Future,” written to coincide with the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, July 2002

“[Education] is not simply the transmission of knowledge. It is not simply the development of talent. Education is a great enterprise of steadily and surely passing on the fullness of humanity . . . Education is a process of becoming fully human.”—Daisaku Ikeda, “Soka University's Second Pioneer Age,” December 2003

“Education is in no way limited to classrooms but is a mission that must be undertaken and realized by human society as a whole. We must now go back to the original purpose of education—children's lifelong happiness—and reflect upon the state of our respective societies and our ways of living.”—Daisaku Ikeda, “Building a Society That Serves the Essential Needs of Education: Some Views on Education in the Twenty-first Century,” September 2000

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