A Tibetan proverb says, “A child without education is like a bird without wings.” There’s the obvious interpretation—an uneducated child can not function to its fullest potential. But it’s worth noting the proverb selects a bird, as opposed to some other object or living thing, to deliver its message. Birds, as symbols, represent freedom, peace, and the human spirit. So, the proverb is about more than living to one’s full potential. It’s about living itself. A child without education is not free.
The United Nation’s fourth sustainable development goal — to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promotes lifelong learning opportunities to all — is not merely important, but vital. To celebrate their commitment, let’s check out some of humanity’s most impressive accomplishments in education over the years.