SDG Four

Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning

Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning

Obtaining a quality education is the foundation to improving people's lives and sustainable development. Major progress has been made towards increasing access to education at all levels and increasing enrolment rates in schools, particularly for women and girls. Basic literacy skills have improved tremendously, yet bolder efforts are needed to make even greater strides for achieving universal education goals. For example, the world has achieved equality in primary education between girls and boys, but few countries have achieved that target at all levels of education.


Global Goal 4: Quality Education

The SDG Targets

4.1 By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes

4.2 By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education

4.3 By 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university

4.4 By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship

4.5 By 2030, eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, and children in vulnerable situations

4.6 By 2030, ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and men, achieve literacy and numeracy

4.7 By 2030, ensure all learners acquire knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including among others through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship, and appreciation of cultural diversity and of cultures contribution to sustainable development

4.a Build and upgrade education facilities that are child, disability and gender sensitive and provide safe, non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all

4.b By 2020, substantially expand globally the number of scholarships for developing countries in particular least developed countries, small island developing States and African countries for enrolment in higher education, including vocational training, and communications technology, technical, engineering and scientific programs in developed countries and other developing countries

4.c By 2030, substantially increase the supply of qualified teachers, including through international cooperation for teacher training in developing countries, especially least developed countries, small island developing States


Children are less likely to attend school if they live in rural areas, are poor or have parents with little or no education

Despite progress, the world failed to meet the MDG of universal primary education by 2015. In 2013, the latest year for which data are available, 59 million children of primary school age and 65 million adolescents of lower secondary age were out of school. Most of them were girls. Survey data from 63 low- and middle-income countries between 2008 and 2012 show that children of primary school age from the poorest 20 percent of households were more than four times as likely to be out of school as their richest peers. Children, especially girls, from households headed by someone with less than a primary education were more than four times as likely to be out of school as children from households headed by someone with a secondary or higher education.

Fundamental skills provide a solid foundation to young people for further learning throughout their life

Quality education should lead to the acquisition of fundamental skills, such as literacy and numeracy, and higher level skills. The end of lower secondary school often coincides with the end of compulsory education. By this stage, students should be able to master subject-related knowledge and skills, possess personal and social skills and have a solid foundation for further learning throughout life. Data from 38 countries in the developed regions show that, in the majority of these countries, at least 75 percent of young people achieved at least minimum proficiency in reading and/or mathematics; the same was true for only 5 of the 22 countries with data in developing regions.

More than half of children aged 3 and 4 in selected countries are developmentally on track in physical, learning and psycho-social well-being

Early childhood development is multidimensional, encompassing several aspects of a child's well-being: physical, social, emotional and mental. Despite variations in the pace and rate at which children develop, all children have an inherent right to develop to their fullest potential. In 54 of 58 countries with available data for the period 2009-2015, at least half of children aged 3 and 4 were developmentally on track in at least three of the following domains: literacy-numeracy, physical development, social-emotional development, and learning.





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