- Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
PROGRESS OF GOAL 4 IN 2017
Achieving inclusive and equitable quality education for all will require increasing efforts, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia and for vulnerable populations, including persons with disabilities, indigenous people, refugee children and poor children in rural areas.
- In 2014, about 2 in 3 children worldwide participated in pre-primary or primary education in the year prior to official entry age for primary school. However, in the least developed countries, the ratio was only 4 in 10.
- Despite considerable gains in education enrolment over the past 15 years, worldwide, the adjusted net enrolment rates were 91 percent for primary education, 84 percent for lower secondary education and 63 percent for upper secondary education in 2014. About 263 million children and youth were out of school, including 61 million children of primary school age. Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia account for over 70 percent of the global out-of-school population in primary and secondary education.
- Even though more children than ever are going to school, many do not acquire basic skills in reading and mathematics. Recent learning assessment studies show that in 9 of 24 sub-Saharan African countries and 6 of 15 Latin American countries with data, fewer than half of the students at the end of primary education had attained minimum proficiency levels in mathematics. In 6 of 24 sub-Saharan African countries with data, fewer than half of the students who finished their primary schooling had attained minimum proficiency levels in reading.
- Equity issues constitute a major challenge in education according to a recent assessment. In all countries with data, children from the richest 20 percent of households achieved greater proficiency in reading at the end of their primary and lower secondary education than children from the poorest 20 percent of households. In most countries with data, urban children scored higher in reading than rural children.
- The lack of trained teachers and the poor condition of schools in many parts of the world are jeopardizing prospects for quality education for all. Sub -Saharan Africa has a relatively low percentage of trained teachers in pre-primary, primary and secondary education (44 percent, 74 percent, and 55 percent, respectively). Moreover, the majority of schools in the region do not have access to electricity or potable water.
- On the basis of data from 65 developing countries, the average percentage of schools with access to computers and the Internet for teaching purposes is above 60 percent in both primary and secondary education. However, the share is less than 40 percent in more than half of sub-Saharan countries with data.
- Official development assistance (ODA) for scholarships amounted to $1 billion in 2015, a decrease from $1.2 billion in 2014. Australia, France and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland were the largest contributors.
Source: Report of the Secretary-General, "Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals", E/2017/66