SDG 4 : Quality Education
SDG 4 aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. Education is the weapon to improve one’s life. Education is an essential tool that imparts knowledge to improve one’s life. The process of education comprises various steps depending upon the quality of Education.
Education is a key process that plays a significant role in molding the ethics and culture of the society. It is to be said that a mother is the first teacher of a child, hence an educated women’s outcome would be an educated child. Education improves one’s knowledge, confidence, skills, it develops.
Education forms a distinct line of separation between man and other creatures, making man the smartest animal on Earth. IT empowers and readies us to face the challenges of life more efficiently. Additionally, Education improves one’s skills, abilities, knowledge, attitude, and personality. The Right to Education Act, 2009, is an initial step towards Education to make it accessible and compulsory for children aged 6 to 14 years.
There are numerous awareness programs to tell people about the importance of Education, the government of India has launched multiple Education based initiatives like Udaan, Saksham, Pragati, etc. accessible for children. Education prepares the children to contribute towards the development and for the future of the country.
SDG 4 targets to achieve by 2030:
1. Ensuring that all girls and boys complete free, equitable, and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes, by 2030- Providing good education to each and every individual is a tough task, but a change indeed, without proper education, achieving success is not an easy task. By providing free education, a lot of parents who are not very wealthy would be able to send their kids to school without any hassle.
2. Ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care, and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education.- Pre-primary education is the base, every child should acquire early education, as it helps a lot in the development.
3. Ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university.- barriers to skills development and technical and vocational education and training, starting from the secondary level, as well as to tertiary education.
4. Substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs, and entrepreneurship beyond work-specific skills, emphasis must be placed on developing high level cognitive and non-cognitive / transferable skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, teamwork, communication skills, such as problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, teamwork, which can be used across a range of occupational.
5. Eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for persons with disabilities, indigenous people, and children in vulnerable situations. All people inclusive of sex, age, race, color, language, should have access to inclusive, equitable quality education, and lifelong learning opportunities.
6. Ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men, and women, achieve literacy and numeracy. All the young people and adults across the world should have achieved relevant and recognized proficiency levels in functional literacy and numeracy skills that are equivalent to levels achieved at the successful completion of basic education.
7. Ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and nonviolence. The content of such education must be relevant, with a focus on both cognitive and non-cognitive aspects of learning.
8. Substantially increase the supply of qualified teachers, including through international cooperation for the teacher training in developing countries, especially least developed countries and small island developing States.
The teachers are the key to achieving all of the SDG 4 targets, It requires urgent attention, with a more immediate deadline. As teachers are a fundamental condition for guaranteeing quality education, teachers and educators should be empowered, adequately, professionally qualified.
Challenges children face getting Education
1) Gender Discrimination- Due to poverty, security , or cultural factors, male children get educated while their female siblings will not.
2) Disabilities- Much social and cultural discrimination remains around disability. Children with disabilities are more likely to miss out on school than other children.
3) Child Marriage-Early marriage and pregnancy often leads to dropouts and girls being banned from school. Children who do return may face bullying.
4) Child labor- Many children are forced to work instead of attending school. Families living in poverty often rely on children to supply extra income.
Schemes and policy made by the government regarding SDG4
1) Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan- This program is the flagship program for the children to get Universal Elementary Education. The national program for the education of girls at Elementary Education- The main focus of this program is to break gender stereotypes and to make sure girls get a good education at the elementary level.
2) Midday Meal Scheme- The objective of this scheme was to eliminate the classroom hunger of children and to increase the attendance and enrolment of children at schools.
3) Right to Education- This act made education for every child between 6 and 14 years a fundamental right.
There are many more such schemes and policies made by the government to provide better education, especially to those who couldn't afford to go to school. Even after doing hard work for decades, we still have not reached our desired goal, but we are close. With these small steps taken, we will achieve SDG
One child, one teacher, one pen can bring change into this world.