4 Quality Education 4. Quality Education

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

Technology in action Opportunities & Challenges
+10%Increase in average income with each additional year of school
$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

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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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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. 

The world needs strong multi-stakeholder partnerships like 2030Vision that focus on the technological innovations required to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development... I welcome 2030Vision for its leadership and ambition towards attaining our shared Goals for People and Planet by 2030. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations
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