Petition to the UN for establishing "World Lifelong Learning" Day
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In a knowledge economy, lifelong learning is necessary to survive. Rapid advances and exponential technologies are creating a world in which robots and digital agents are displacing significant numbers of both blue- and white-collar workers (World Economic Forum report on the 4th Industrial Revolution). Many experts and luminaries have expressed serious concerns that this will lead to vast increases in income inequality, mass unemployment, and breakdowns in the social order.
For hundreds of years, governments worldwide and their education departments have focused on an outdated model in which education is front-loaded during the first 20 years of life via schooling and university. Government leaders need to recognize the critical importance of learning beyond just the early years of life to lifelong learning given the continuous needs of new skills required to support knowledge economies. Learning can no longer be divided into a fixed place and time to acquire knowledge (school) and a fixed place and time to apply that knowledge (the workplace). Instead, learning must be seen as something that takes place on an ongoing basis through our daily interactions with others and the world around us. It can take the form of formal or informal, self-directed learning.
Lifelong learning is the ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons. It not only enhances personal development and employability, but also promotes informed citizenship, self-sustainability, and competitiveness on a country-wide level.
Lifelong learning is #4 on the list of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). However, this goal is not likely to be achieved unless global awareness is created about its critical importance to every person and country.
So, we are requesting the United Nations to declare June 1st as World Lifelong Learning Day. The celebration of this day globally will bring more employability, economic growth, peace, and equality to our world.
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