What does celebrating the International Students’ Day tell us?
The effects of coronavirus have been serious and long lasting, with barely a person who will get through the pandemic without being affected in one way or the other. Students can definitely be said to have gotten the short end of the stick (a stick which is quite short, to begin with), as many of them lose a year’s time due to lock-downs, besides having their classes shifted to online mode, which brings with it a whole plethora of problems.
In such situations it is good to remember the importance that students have in shaping the future of the world. The young generation is the one that will be the leaders of tomorrow. And, in today’s troubled times, they need to have their voices heard. This is where the International Students’ Day comes in, celebrated every year on November 17.
As the history goes, on November 17, 1939, several young students and teachers in Prague took to the streets to protest against fascism. Nine of them paid for it with their lives. More than 1,200 others were sent to concentration camps. This atrocity is what ultimately led to the creation of the International Student’s Day.
The day was initially brought to life to commemorate the death of those nine students and teachers, but has since turned into much more than it was initially meant to be. Despite all that it has become now, the origin of the observance lies in tragedy.
The International Students’ Day was initially brought to life to commemorate the death of nine students and teachers in the fascist Prague of 1939, but has since turned into much more than it was initially meant to be. Despite all that it has become now, the origin of the observance lies in tragedy.
This day is not just about paying homage to those who sacrificed their lives so that others could have better ones, but is also a celebration of the multiculturalism present in our educational institutions, chiefly universities. It is only by having people stand up and fight against everything wrong in the world that we can truly move forward. The young generation, in particular, wields great power in this regard as the people who will take the mantle in the future.
The observance of this day the world over is of great importance. Many unions and organisations pertaining to the interests of students, like the EUSA (European Union Sports Association) and the ESU (European Students’ Union) make great use of it by spreading awareness regarding the importance of education for all. Rallies and demonstrations held in different parts of the globe also help create an environment conducive to learning, wherein large strides are taken to provide adequate resources to children so that they get their basic right to receive education.
But that isn’t all that this day hopes to achieve. While the provision of education for all is of great importance for any society to succeed, the celebration of the International Students’ Day helps achieve something else equally important. Reminding people, particularly students, of the power they hold and the ability they have of creating a positive change in the world by even the smallest of their actions will make them more confident and more capable of being the strong and impactful leaders they have the potential of becoming.
The students and teachers who gave their lives more than 80 years ago are an inspiration to all, and being reminded of their bravery every year should enable more people to follow in their footsteps and strive to make the world a better place.