Education is a right and not a commodity

Meriam virtually participating in the HLPF meeting.

This blog post is based on the speech of Meriem, a UNICEF Morocco Youth Advocate, before the meeting of the High-Level Political Forum 2022.  


It is no secret that education is a basic right of every child, and that quality education represents a lever for all social development, and an impetus for every civilizational take-off. Therefore, successful countries invest all their capabilities into their children, to improve educational services and infrastructure, renew curricula, and rehabilitate the framework of education.  

As a Moroccan child coming from the public school, I would like to commend the efforts of states and governments, as well as all the teachers, for their sacrifices made during the Corona pandemic to ensure the continuity of educational services despite all the difficulties and risks. 

The Corona pandemic has led to the worst educational crisis, as schools have closed and about 1.6 billion children have stopped attending the classroom, resulting in the loss of about two trillion hours of in-person education. 

Corona has never been kind to us children, as psychological, health and behavioral problems have been added to the problems of the existing learning crisis. 

I may consider myself very fortunate that during the quarantine period, I received full family care due to the fact that my parents are teachers. This care enabled me to keep up with the virtual lessons that I was receiving from my teachers, and I also invested my time in reading books. 

However, as a young advocate for child rights, I am not sure that the conditions of all my peers have afforded them the same opportunities to access a quality education that meets their rights and requirements, an effective education that responds to the expectations of families and societies. Schooling does not necessarily mean learning and acquiring skills and abilities. I am talking about marginalized children and vulnerable groups, about those who suffer from all forms of discrimination, and about children living in war zones and natural disasters, without forgetting children in a situation of disabilities as well as all invisible children. 

Statistics confirm that two-thirds of students in most educational systems do not control basic skills such as reading and mathematics, which hinders their ability to continue learning throughout their lives. Securing a school seat does not guarantee a good education that enables children to face the battles of life. 

The catastrophic educational situation calls for urgent and effective intervention to solve the various problems affecting the improvement of the educational system.  As children, our hopes and ambitions for a better future depend on you, so do not find blame in the economic situation and the Covid pandemic. 

Education is a right and not a commodity. Childhood is innocent, and its education is a trust, so preserve the truth and protect the trust.