SDG 4: Quality education
Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
Malcolm X once said, "education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today." Unfortunately, more than 250 million children are deprived of that "passport", unable to get into school or access good quality education. And more than 50% of all children and adolescents worldwide are not meeting minimum proficiency standards in reading and mathematics.
The situation got worse during the 2020 pandemic, when most schools were closed because of worldwide shutdowns, impacting more than 90% of students around the globe. By April 2020, close to 1.6 billion children and youth were out of school. And nearly 350 million children who relied on school meals needed to look to other sources for daily nutrition.
As an immediate COVID-19 response, UNESCO launched March 2020 the Global Education Coalition, an initiative that brings the UN family, civil society organizations, media, and IT partners together to deploy innovative solutions and save the education sector from falling apart. Together they helped countries tackle content and connectivity gaps and facilitated learning opportunities for children and youth during unprecedented times.
As we gradually put the pandemic in the rearview mirror, nations are re-shifting their focus on the long-term education objectives, highlighted in the United Nations 4th Sustainable Development Goal of "Quality Education."