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Children love to learn. If they are denied access to knowledge, we also deny them the opportunity to change their lives for the better.

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International Day for Protection of Education from Attack

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A high-level virtual event reflected the role of State of Qatar in supporting and protecting education around the world.

Education Above All Foundation, along with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Qatar National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, Regulatory Authority for Charitable Activities, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), and Qatar Fund for Development, organized a high-level virtual event in Qatar on the sidelines of the first International Day for Protection of Education from Attack, with the participation of HE Dr Mohammed bin Abdul Wahed Al-Hamadi, Minister of Education and Higher Education, HE Mr. Yousuf Mohamed Al-Othman Fakhroo, Minister of Administrative Development, Labour & Social Affairs and HE Mr. Khalifa bin Jassem Al-Kuwari, Director General of Qatar Fund for Development, The speakers stressed the role of the State of Qatar in supporting education issues and its commitment to making education available to millions of underprivileged children, achieving peace, development and protecting human rights.

This year marks the first International Day for Protection of Education from Attack, following a unanimous resolution passed by the United Nations General Assembly in May. The Day calls attention to the plight of children affected by armed conflict and natural disaster in desperate need of educational support and puts attacks on education at the top of the international agenda. The Day was adopted by consensus after intense consultations led by the Delegation of the State of Qatar to the United Nations. Efforts to introduce the Day were spearheaded by HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser as part of a decades-long commitment to protecting education in conflict and insecurity and ensuring children in developing countries can realise their fundamental right to education. 

Her Highness has successfully advocated for the adoption by the UN of a resolution on ‘The right to education in emergency situations’, which affirms the right to education in crisis and conflict. Her work with Security Council members contributed to the formulation of Security Council Resolution 1998, which makes attacks on schools a “trigger violation” for the UN’s Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism for Children and Armed Conflict.

On this occasion, HE Dr Mohammed bin Abdul Wahed Al-Hamadi, Minister of Education and Higher Education, Said:  "The organization of this first International Day for Protection of Education from Attack, in recognition of the leadership role of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, in support of education issues around the world, and in response to the initiative called for by Her Highness and adopted by the UN General Assembly by consensus adopted a resolution establishing 9th of September each year as an annual platform for the international community, to review the commitment to the mechanisms to protect education from attacks.

"Qatar is committed to providing quality education to millions of children who have lost their right to education due to conflicts, wars and natural disasters around the world." Al-Hamadi added.

HE Mr. Yousuf Mohamed Al-Othman Fakhroo, Minister of Administrative Development, Labour & Social Affairs, Said: "For decades, wars have destroyed many of the rights and dreams of peoples, which have created generations deprived of the simplest elements of life, and left many victims and heavy consequences for states and societies, from which only the focus on the human person can be restored through education and knowledge".

HE added: "Regulatory Authority for Charitable Activities its commitment and moveforward in taking care and prioritizing education projects for human beings, peace-building and community development."

HE Mr. Khalifa bin Jassem Al-Kuwari, Director General of Qatar Fund for Development, Said: "QFFD has several contributions to support the access of quality education and safe and equitable in emergencies and conflict zones in various aspects such as support for formal and informal education, book printing, distribution and training technical and vocational training, scholarships, restoration and reconstruction of schools and universities in addition to psychological and social support.

“The Qatar Fund for Development has made numerous contributions to support access to quality, safe and equitable education in emergency situations and in conflict and crisis and post-conflict areas in various aspects such as supporting formal and non-formal education, printing and distributing books, and technical training. And the provision of scholarships, restoration and reconstruction of schools and universities, in addition to psychological and social support, the Qatar Fund for Development constantly works to promote equal learning opportunities for all children and youth, so that no one is left behind in education, QFFD is constantly working to promote equal learning opportunities for all children and youth, so that no one is left behind in education".

Also two discussion panels were held, the first one under the title "Youth challenges and perspectives on the future of education", This youth discussion panel began with a recorded message from Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director Global, and Ted Chaiban, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, After that, Opening of the panel, moderated by Mr Ahmed AlHendawi, former UN Youth Envoy and Secretary-General of the World Organisation of the Scout Movement, and participated by Ms Huda El Muzaini, Palestinien Student, Ms Maria Shaieb, Syrian refugee studying in Lebanon, Ms Aisha Aljaedy, Yemeni student and Co-Founder of the ALMATBKH Startup, Mr Mohammad Shehadat, Syrian refugee in Amman and Ms Maha Fakhroo, Qatar winner of Excellence Award.

The second discussion panel was held under the title "Opportunities and the Way Forward", moderated by Dr Said Yasin, Director of EAC Technical Department, the panel started with recorded message from Ms Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director General for Education, UNESCO, and HE Mr Ali Hamid, Iraqi Minister of Education, and participated by, Mr Ahmed Yousef AlMahmoud, Principal of Qatar Banking Studies and Business Administration School, and Dr Maleiha Malik, Executive Director of PEIC.

Mubarak Al-Thani, Communication Manager at EAA, said: "The Law of Armed Conflict emphasizes the need to provide education to children during war and to protect them from becoming  targets, along with teachers and facilities, schools and universities.  While international law emphasizes the importance of sparing civilians, they, however, are now the most vulnerable. This requires a firm international stand that deters and holds offenders accountable, and ensures that perpetrators do not go unpunished for violations of international law relating to education.

The world is witnessing a disturbing trend of systemic and deliberate attacks being carried out on education. According to the Education Under Attack 2020 report, there have been more than 11,000 attacks on education in the last five years, and 22,000 teachers and academics were killed and wounded in more than 93 countries. In that same time period, children have been forcibly abducted or recruited from their schools in at least 17 countries. The global community has responded with complacency and tolerance. EAA and its partners are committed to driving top-down and grassroots effort for the protection of education from attack, calling for action. Education Above All and its partners are committed to leading the effort and advancing reforms to protect education from attack.

With recorded opening addresses from:

HE Dr. Mohammed Bin Abdul Wahed Al-Hamadi,
Minister of Education and Higher Education

HE Mr. Yousuf Mohamed Al-Othman Fakhroo,
Minister of Administrative Development, Labour & Social Affairs and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Regulatory Authority for Charitable Activities 

HE Mr. Khalifa bin Jassem Al-Kuwari,
Director General of the Qatar for Development (QFFD)

In addition to panel discussions with high-level speakers and youth representatives.

Recorded on September 9, 2020
From 7:00 p.m – 8:40 p.m. Doha

Impact

"Humanity will not overcome the immense challenges we face unless we ensure that children get the quality education that equips them to play their part in the modern world." -- HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser

Surpassing

12.8 million

enrolment commitments for OOSC

9,099

Scholarships

89.5%

retention rate

395,558

Teachers trained

45,000

schools and classrooms