International Day of Education: What It Means to Medical Professionals

17 January 2024

international day of education

Most people think that education is something that only takes place in classrooms, but they are mistaken. The process of education never ends. Long after you earn your degree, you will continue to experience situations that allow you to learn something new and grow as an individual. That is why the United Nations (UN) set aside a dedicated International Day of Education. It’s a day to acknowledge that education is a universal right and that every individual should have access to it.

Everything You Need to Know About International Education Day 2024

The International Day of Education is observed on the same day each year. In 2024, like every year before it, the day will be observed on January 24. 

Every year, the UN and its bodies—like the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)—celebrate the power of education to unlock humanity’s undiscovered potential. It’s an extremely important mission as millions around the world lack access to quality education. 

According to UNESCO’s data, 250 million children across the globe are not receiving schooling, and there are 763 million illiterate adults worldwide. These groups face many political, social, economic, and cultural hurdles in accessing education, and International Education Day is meant to raise awareness about their plight.

What Is the Theme for International Education Day 2024?

Each International Day of Education is assigned a theme by UNESCO. This year’s theme is “Learning for Lasting Peace.” The last year saw several conflicts raging across the world, causing destruction and derailing development. The transformative power of education can be a catalyst for a more peaceful world. 

This year’s theme focuses on imparting education that teaches skills, values, and attitudes that enable citizens to become peaceful agents of change in their communities. It aims to promote sustainable peace through democratic, participatory, and inclusive governance, gender equality, solidarity, healthy dialogue, cooperation, understanding, and the acknowledgment of fundamental freedoms and human rights.

A Brief History of the International Day of Education

The UN first adopted a resolution to observe International Day for Education on December 23, 2018. So, the first observance of this day was on January 24, 2019. Since then, this day has been revealing education’s critical influence in bringing about sustainable development as well as global peace and security.

How International Education Day Will Be Celebrated This Year

Raising awareness about education’s importance is the overarching goal of the International Day of Education. To that end, UNESCO is organizing a panel discussion called “Learning for Lasting Peace.” In collaboration with the Group of Friends for Education and Lifelong Learning and the UN Secretariat, the day promises insightful and inspirational dialogue throughout. 

The UNESCO panel is being held before the actual International Day of Education on January 19, 2024. It will be held at the UN headquarters in New York. If you’re able to attend in person, you can register for the event online.  Representatives from the UN’s member states, its agencies and programs, and multiple affiliated NGOs will be in attendance.

Why International Education Day Is Significant for Medical Professionals

Education isn’t solely reserved for students. Even professionals in extremely advanced, knowledge-intensive fields like healthcare can benefit from ongoing education. For doctors, nurses, and other medical workers, undertaking continuing medical education (CME) is essential. It helps them in the following ways:

  • Teaches new methodologies and covers emerging areas of research
  • Helps healthcare providers meet licensing and certification requirements 
  • Enables inter-speciality collaboration while driving professional growth

For medical professionals looking to broaden their horizons, non-profit organizations like the Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA) provide many opportunities to engage in CME.

How IMANA Facilitates Continued Learning for Medical Professionals

IMANA has been recognized by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) as a provider of CME. Through IMANA’s various initiatives, it is possible to earn Category 1 CME credits that are approved by the American Medical Association (AMA). These are some of the activities conducted by IMANA to support CME for healthcare workers:

1. IMANA’s Annual CME Convention

The Annual CME Convention is the premiere event for further learning and professional networking. The event is organized according to the guidelines laid out by the Essential Areas and Policies of ACCME. This is where the latest knowledge and promising strategies are shared between speakers and attendees. 

2. IMANA’s Educational Scholarships

While CME is extremely beneficial, it can also be expensive. Thankfully, IMANA’s scholarship program assists medical professionals with funds to pursue CME activities. IMANA offers applicants four scholarships from its endowment fund and four donor-supported scholarships. Each is awarded according to different eligibility criteria to extend support to as many medical workers and students as possible.

3. IMANA’s Mentorship Program

While Category 1 CME credits need to be earned during formally planned activities, like workshops or seminars, Category 2 CME credits are earned more informally. They can be obtained via practice-based self-study, consultations with colleagues, or teaching scenarios. Applying to IMANA’s mentorship program matches young doctors and healthcare workers with veterans from the industry. The transfer of knowledge and shared experiences are invaluable for further medical education.

Celebrating International Education Day the Right Way

The International Day of Education takes place in January, which means you can start your year off on a positive note. There is always something new to learn, especially for those who work in medicine. Though we stop being students once we graduate, we can be lifelong learners.

Learn more about IMANA’s educational initiatives here.