Quality Education is our main guarantee for sustainable development since it creates innovative solutions for today’s biggest problems like starvation, health, social justice, and social and economic freedom of all people. It enables socioeconomic mobility upward and is a key to escaping poverty. Sustainable Development Goal 4 aims at ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all. This goal ensures that all girls and boys complete free primary and secondary schooling by 2030. It also aims to provide equal access to affordable technical, and vocational training, eliminate gender and wealth disparities and achieve universal access to quality higher education.
Studies show that, among those 59 million children, 1 in 5 of them had dropped out and recent trends suggest that 2 in 5 out-of-school children will never set foot in a classroom for some or other reasons. The Sustainable Development Goals clearly recognize that this gap must be filled, even as the international community more clearly addresses the challenges of quality and equity in education. Education is the basic tool for removing poverty and inequality from society. Over the past decade, major progress was made towards increasing access to education and school enrollment rates at all levels, particularly for girls. Nevertheless, about 260 million children were still out of school in 2018 — nearly one-fifth of the global population in that age group and more than half of all children and adolescents worldwide are not meeting minimum proficiency standards in reading and mathematics.
In 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe and never before have so many children been out of school at the same time, disrupting learning and depending on lives, especially the most vulnerable and depreciated class. The global pandemic has far-reaching consequences that may jeopardize hard-won gains made in improving global education. A majority of countries announced the temporary closure of schools, impacting more than 91 percent of students worldwide. By April 2020, close to 1.6 billion children and youth were out of school. And nearly 369 million children who depend on school for meals more than education needed to look to other sources for daily nutrition.
The More Affected Region:
As a result of poverty, starvation, and marginalization, more than 72 million children around the world remain unschooled. Sub-Saharan Africa faces the biggest challenges in providing schools with basic resources. The situation is extreme at the primary and lower secondary levels. Central and Eastern Asia, as well as the Pacific, are also severely affected by this problem with more than 27 million uneducated children. In Sub -Sahara Africa less than one-half of schools have access to drinking water, electricity, computers, and the Internet. Inequalities will also worsen unless the digital divide – the gap between under-connected and highly digitalized countries – is not addressed.
Essentially this concerns Sub-Saharan Africa where more than half of children receive an education for less than 4 years which is called educational poverty. In certain countries, such as Somalia and Burkina Faso, more than 50% of children receive an education for a period of fewer than 2 years which is called extreme educational poverty, these regions must also solve continuing problems of educational poverty.
The lack of schooling and educational poverty have negative effects on the population and country. The children leave school without having acquired the basics, which greatly affects the social and economic development of these countries.
Which Group has more Difficulty in access to Education:
Women and girls are one of those groups who have the least access to education. They make up more than 54% of the non-schooled population in the world. About one-third of countries in developing regions have not achieved gender parity in primary education. These disadvantages in education also translate into a lack of access to skills and limited opportunities in the labor market for young women.
This problem is seen most frequently in the Arab States, in central Asia, and in Southern and Western Asia and is principally explained by the cultural and traditional privileged treatment given to males. Girls are destined to work in the family home, whereas boys are entitled to receive an education. The height of disparity!
In sub-Saharan Africa, over 12 million girls are at risk of never receiving an education. In Yemen, more than 80% of girls will never have the opportunity to go to school. Even more alarming, certain countries such as Afghanistan or Somalia make no effort to reduce the gap between girls and boys with regard to education.
Although many developing countries may pat themselves on dramatically reducing inequality between girls and boys in education, a lot of effort is still needed in order to achieve universal primary education.
What can I Do:
This question should always be given a place in our thoughts What can I do? Ask our governments to place education as a priority in both policy and practice. Lobby our governments to make firm commitments to provide free primary school education to all, including vulnerable or marginalized groups, and make sure that plans should be implemented well.