4 Quality Education 4. Quality Education

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Technology in action Opportunities & Challenges
263mPeople under 18 globally are without access to education
$3.1bnOf venture capital flowed into ed-tech companies in 2015
70%Of under 18s without access to education are from sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia

Goal 4 aims to provide inclusive, equitable and quality education for all people, globally. Its targets span a variety of challenges related to inclusion of marginalized populations at multiple levels of education and in the workforce. Access to education remains absent from the lives of 263 million under 18s. Young people in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia make up 70% of this figure. Those who attend school often fail to acquire basic skills in reading and mathematics. In almost half of Latin American countries, less than 50% of primary school graduates attain minimum proficiency in mathematics and reading, while 25% of sub-Saharan African countries have less than half their graduates attain minimum reading proficiency. Gaining a quality education most impacts children in developing nations; studies show that each additional year of school increases future income by an average of 10%.

More about this Goal

Technology in action

Deep Learning Indaba

Since 2017, Deep Learning Indaba has enabled a yearly pilgrimage of students, researchers and developers to meet and share knowledge on ML …

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U-Report is a mobile empowerment programme that connects young people all over the world to their governments and decision makers, shares …

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Voz Box

Project Vive is a social tech company creating low-cost, open-source, multi-sensor speech generating devices to give a voice to people with …

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Unlocking global talent and innovation to solve our greatest challenges

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Simprints are a non-profit tech company building low-cost,biometric identification systems for the last mile.

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Do your :bit – micro:bit Global Challenge for Young People

By combining the resources of micro:bit and the World’s Largest Lesson we aim to reach children across the globe, and run a campaign to …

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Urban Tech Bets: Digital Learning

This project identifies digital technologies that deliver positive social impacts for children and their families in cities, and also grow …

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Urban Tech Bets: Multi-Modal Skilling

This project delivers services that mix digital learning with in-person mentoring to expand access to the skills (and certificates or …

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Opportunities & Challenges

Improving quality and delivery of education for children and adults, especially those living in rural areas and in low-income countries, presents a number of opportunities and challenges:

Extending the classroom: 90% of children worldwide completed primary education, but only 63% finish secondary school. The lack of trained teachers and poor conditions of schools are key barriers to achieving quality education. Cost-effective education products and services that eliminate barriers to access and improve quality of learning, especially for rural and disadvantaged populations, represent a significant opportunity.

Equal access to education: In 2013, two-thirds of the 757 million adults unable to read or write were women. Women are particularly under-represented in STEM education: 16% of female students graduate in STEM subjects vs. 30% of male students. Technology-driven education programs must recognize gender specific challenges including fewer role models and negative stereotypes that can lower girls’ aspirations and achievements. Equal access to education requires addressing financial disadvantages of students and increasing funding for innovative business models. For example, the Teacher Incentive Fund has trialed pay-for-performance programs in the US, and open source programs continue to grow (e.g. edX, Khan Academy).

Measuring learning achievements: Lack of comparable data makes measuring educational attainment across countries difficult. Leveraging big data, IoT and connected classrooms to better track learning outcomes can help identify and prioritize effective teaching methods. 

There is a need to transcend the imperial ivory tower mentality and create a global standard in education. Smartphones and phone based curriculums can be a major part of this. Sherman Indhul, Transnet
In many developing markets it is not expensive, sophisticated technology which has the biggest impact on education, but more ubiquitous, inclusive and affordable technology like mobile. Jaideep Prabhu, Judge Business School
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