Minister of Education, Culture Youth and Sport, the Honourable Wycliffe Smith announced that January 24 is being celebrated as the International Day of Education. This is the first time that this observance is being made by the United Nations. As a part of the UN 2030 agenda, the day was established to promote Sustainable Development Goal #4 which is focused on ensuring that quality education is accessible for all. “Regardless of gender, race, socio-economic status, age or any other factor, education is a universal right for all people. Here on Sint Maarten, I encourage each person to strive to continue your education. Once there is life, it is never too late to learn something new,” said Minister Smith.
Education is compulsory for children between the ages of 4 and 18 years old on Sint Maarten. Beyond ensuring that all children are in school, Country Sint Maarten has pledged to pursue the sustainable development goals, including Goal 4: Quality education. According to the United Nations, “Achieving inclusive and quality education for all reaffirms the belief that education is one of the most powerful and proven vehicles for sustainable development. This goal ensures that all girls and boys complete free primary and secondary schooling by 2030. It also aims to provide equal access to affordable vocational training, to eliminate gender and wealth disparities, and achieve universal access to a quality higher education.”