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International Youth Day

Topics covered:

  1. Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.


International Youth Day


What to study?

For prelims: About IYD- related key facts.

For mains: Need for skilling youth, challenges, concerns and measures needed.


Context: International Youth Day (IYD), observed on August 12, is an awareness day designated by the UN. The purpose of the day is to draw attention to a given set of cultural and legal issues surrounding youngsters.

Theme: “Transforming education”.


Significance of the theme:

It highlights efforts to make education more relevant, equitable and inclusive for all youth, including efforts by youth themselves.

Rooted in Goal 4 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, IYD will examine how Governments, young people and youth-led and youth-focused organizations, as well as other stakeholders, are transforming education and how these efforts are contributing to the achievement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.



IYD was first celebrated on August 12, 2000, after the UN General Assembly passed a resolution accepting the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth in Lisbon in 1998.


Challenges ahead:

Statistics remind us that significant transformations are still required to make education systems more inclusive and accessible:

  1. Only 10% of people have completed upper secondary education in low income countries.
  2. 40 % of the global population is not taught in a language they speak or fully understand.
  3. Over 75 % of secondary school age refugees are out of school. In addition, indigenous youth, young people with disabilities, young women, young people belonging to vulnerable groups or in vulnerable situations, etc. are facing additional challenges to access education that respects their diverse needs and abilities as well as reflects and embraces their unique realities and identities.


Significance of Education:

Making education more relevant, equitable and inclusive is crucial to achieving sustainable development. Education is a ‘development multiplier’ in that it plays a pivotal role in accelerating progress across all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, be it poverty eradication, good health, gender equality, decent work and growth, reduced inequalities, action on climate or building peaceful societies.

Education should lead to effective learning outcomes, with the content of school curricula and pedagogy being fit for purpose, not only for the 4th industrial revolution and the future of work and life, but also for the opportunities and challenges that rapidly changing social contexts bring.


Why educate the youth?

  1. Youth engagement is crucial to bringing about more relevant, equitable and inclusive education.
  2. Youth-led organizations are transforming education by partnering with Governments, educational institutions and other stakeholders, lobbying and advocating education policies and developing complementary training programs.
  3. Youth-led organizations are addressing barriers for youth on the basis of economic status, ethnic group, gender, and other characteristics; updating education plans and school curricula to include lessons about peace, justice and the environment and climate change, among many other areas.
  4. Youth engagement is essential to the transformation of education into a means for inclusive youth development and sustainable development more broadly.


Why do we mark International Days?

International days are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool.


Sources: the Hindu.