The SDG-Education 2030 Steering Committee has called for funding education as a public good, investing in better monitoring, and strengthening ownership and coordination at the country level.
The UNESCO Institute for Statistics reports that one in five children globally does not attend school, and that little progress has been made in improving school attendance over the past five years.
UIS is developing further indicators to monitor equitable education and learning outcomes.
12 March 2018: The SDG-Education 2030 Steering Committee has issued recommendations for achieving SDG 4 on education, calling to fund education as a public good. Also in March, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) reported that one in five children globally does not attend school, and that little progress has been made in improving school attendance over the past five years.
The 38-member Steering Committee was established in 2016 as the coordination mechanism for education in the 2030 Agenda. It is comprised of UN Member States, eight UN agencies, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and various international partnerships and organizations. The Committee issued its recommendations as it met for the fourth time from 28 February-2 March 2018, at the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Headquarters in Paris, France.
UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay stressed that the commitments expressed in SDG 4 are ambitious, and that building education systems is a collective responsibility that can be achieved through cooperation among all stakeholders. Among its recommendations, the Committee calls for US$280 million a year to be invested in data collection, monitoring and reporting. It calls for institutions that have a UN mandate to monitor SDG 4 to be guaranteed financing, based on agreed responsibilities and shared costs. The Committee also encourages governments to develop holistic national evaluation systems, and to take part in regional or international learning assessments.
In handing down its recommendations, the Committee emphasized that education is a human right, and governments have a responsibility to provide it. The Committee endorsed a one-year advocacy campaign on SDG 4, which will be carried out by the UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report (GEM), UN agencies, regional organizations, countries and civil society networks.
The High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) will review progress towards SDG 4 in 2019. Preparatory consultations will take place beforehand in Kenya, Bolivia, Thailand, Tunisia and France in 2018, followed by a Global Education Meeting in Brussels, Belgium, from 3-5 December 2018.
UIS statistics show that 9% of primary school-aged children and 33.3% of secondary school-aged children do not attend school. In sub-Saharan Africa, one in three children overall does not attend school, and girls are more likely to miss out than boys. Among those who do attend school, one in six does not achieve minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics.
UIS is the official data source for monitoring of SDG 4. Silvia Montoya, UIS Director, said UIS is developing further indicators to monitor equitable education and learning outcomes.
SDG target 4.1 commits to ensuring that all children will have free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education by 2030. [UN Press Release on Access to Education] [UNESCO Press Release] [Text of Steering Committee’s Recommendation]