Today, we celebrate Commonwealth Day, a chance to recognise the value and values of the Commonwealth. This year’s theme, A Connected Commonwealth, is particularly important for the work of the Commonwealth Education Trust.
The Commonwealth Charter describes education as ‘a necessity’, something that is one of the ‘critical preconditions for effective and sustainable development’. At the Commonwealth Education Trust, we understand the power of education in creating a connected Commonwealth.
We believe that the classroom is a special place. For many of us, it was where we first learned to read and write, where we made our best friends, where we became who we are today.
However, for 212 million children around the world, the classroom is a foreign concept. And for many more children, it is a place where their education simply isn’t good enough – and their ability to connect with the Commonwealth is limited because of it.
For these children, and for all of the children of the Commonwealth, we must work to ensure that their education is one that allows them to become the person they were destined to be. Teachers are the gatekeepers to these futures.
A good teacher will support children to understand their place and role in the world, and how they can work with others to create a better future for both themselves and their fellow global citizens. Teachers enable children to develop the foundational skills to communicate and understand, learn and share, give and receive.
These lessons are what children need to be part of the connected Commonwealth. They are what allow us to work together for a greener future, participate in trade and economic empowerment, and support our democracies at home and abroad. Education supports peaceful societies, gender equality and civil engagement. It is both a value of the Commonwealth and a means to realising all of the values of the network.
Because, as all teachers know, only through understanding one another, in terms of language, culture, geography and society, will we be able to work together for a better future. That is to say, it is through education that we create A Connected Commonwealth.
For kid-friendly resources about the 2019 Commonwealth theme, visit the Commonwealth Secretariat’s website.