SDG 4 - Quality education

SDG 4

Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning

Obtaining a quality education is the foundation to creating sustainable development. In addition to improving quality of life, access to inclusive education can help equip locals with the tools required to develop innovative solutions to the world’s greatest problems.

Over 265 million children are currently out of school and 22% of them are of primary school age. Additionally, even the children who are attending schools are lacking basic skills in reading and math. In the past decade, major progress has been made towards increasing access to education at all levels and increasing enrollment 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.

The reasons for lack of quality education are due to lack of adequately trained teachers, poor conditions of schools and equity issues related to opportunities provided to rural children. For quality education to be provided to the children of impoverished families, investment is needed in educational scholarships, teacher training workshops, school building and improvement of water and electricity access to schools.

Facts and Figures

  •     Enrolment in primary education in developing countries has reached 91 per cent but 57 million primary age children remain out of school.
  •     More than half of children that have not enrolled in school live in sub-Saharan Africa.
  •     An estimated 50 per cent of out-of-school children of primary school age live in conflict-affected areas.
  •     617 million youth worldwide lack basic mathematics and literacy skills.

Space-based Technologies for SDG 4

Worldwide, significant challenges remain in access to, quality of and infrastructure for education. UNOOSA spreads knowledge and technical experience on space science and technology to make the benefits of space available to all countries. Through the six Regional Centres for Space Science and Technology Education affiliated with the UN, UNOOSA brings education and research opportunities to young people in developing countries. Read more here.

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