A Call for Support for SDG 4

Educating the next generation is an essential factor in ending poverty and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Positive outcomes of sustainable development have the ability to impact generations. Positive change is dependent on equitably educated youth able to end cyclical poverty. Through this lens, it is essential to understand the necessity of SDG 4 in relation to the other 16 global goals.

First Phase DigitalSDG 4 works to “ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning”. The UN produced a document in support of SDG 4 titled “Why it Matters” in which they specified that, “education is the key that will allow many other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved.”1

 

The underlying principle that human rights are inalienable, indivisible,interdependent and interrelated is intimately tied with the SDGs. For example,SDG 4, SDG 1, ending poverty in all its forms, and  SDG 5, achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls all work together to ensure the protection and preservation of inalienable human rights. Their interrelated nature is clearly evident: “one extra year of education is associated with a reduction of the Gini coefficient by 1.4 percentage points.”2 The Gini coefficient is a measuring tool used to represent the wealth distribution of a country’s income. To combat income inequality in countries, it is essential to ensure education is accessible to all. Sustainable development is dependent on breaking cyclical poverty and it shows that even one additional year of education can do that. Imagine if all kids had access to education through secondary school.

 

Gender disparities are ever more evident in education. Girls are “more likely than boys to never enter primary school.”3 This poses a much greater problem since girls are extremely vulnerable to: child marriage, infant mortality, maternal mortality, and access to healthcare.4 The relationship between gender inequality and education affects the population of a country at large as well. For example, in the Journal of Health Policy and Education, John Caldwell and Peter McDonald note that their analysis “confirms the major importance of parental education, the impact of which is probably greater than both income factors and access to health facilities combined.”5 However, while paternal education does have a positive impact, “the impact of maternal education on child survival is usually greater than that of paternal education.”6 Gender inequality in education reduces child survival rates in a country. It is imperative that when analyzing SDG 4 or SDG 5, the relationship between the two be considered.

 

Therefore, there must be a push to support and pursue SDG 4 as it affects most, if not all, other SDGs. We must push for education data and SDG 4 monitoring. OpenEMIS aspires to partner with countries to ensure they are well and uniquely equipped to collect and understand education data and strategize for sustainable development with education in mind. The power of OpenEMIS is that these countries will have access to real-time, dependable data on education so SDG4 can be factored into national planning. Together, we can pursue sustainable development that goes beyond our generation and ensures a better world moving forward.  

 

 

For more information on the OpenEMIS initiative please visit www.OpenEMIS.org. For more information, please contact contact@openemis.org.
  1. “Quality Education: Why it Matters.” Sustainable Development. United Nations, Web. 15 February, 2017.
  2. “Quality Education: Why it Matters.” Sustainable Development. United Nations, Web. 15 February, 2017.
  3. “Women ED Facts and Figure.” International Women’s Day 2014, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/events/prizes-and-celebrations/celebrations/international-days/international-womens-day-2014/women-ed-facts-and-figure/. Accessed 15 Feb. 2017.
  4. “Gender Equality: Why it Matters.” Sustainable Development. United Nations, Web. 15 February, 2017.
  5. Caldwell, John, and Peter Mcdonald. “Influence of Maternal Education on Infant and Child Mortality: Levels and Causes.” Health Policy and Education, vol. 2, no. 3-4, 1982, pp. 251–267., doi:10.1016/0165-2281(82)90012-1.
  6. Caldwell, John, and Peter Mcdonald. “Influence of Maternal Education on Infant and Child Mortality: Levels and Causes.” Health Policy and Education, vol. 2, no. 3-4, 1982, pp. 251–267., doi:10.1016/0165-2281(82)90012-1.

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