Estimates show that, among those 59 million children, 1 in 5 had dropped out, and recent trends suggest that 2 in 5 out-of-school children will never set foot in a classroom. The Sustainable Development Goals recognise that this gap must be closed, even as the international community more explicitly addresses the challenges of quality and equity in education.
How can an organisation pursue SDG4?
The technologies, infrastructure, and business models required to deliver on the wider SDGs are very dependent on an educated and skilled workforce, and economic growth and new markets rely on an educated population. Therefore, it is arguable that the targets for SDG4 should have more explicitly acknowledged the role of businesses in supporting and providing lifelong education and skills development.
A well-educated workforce benefits individuals, businesses and the wider community.
Therefore, businesses and organisations can support SDG4 in many ways:
- Provide (free or paid-for) personal and skills training services for adults of all ages.
- Provide support for children's education other directly or through partnerships.
- Provide products and materials for people to improve their education.
- Businesses can encourage employees to better themselves through education.
- Value (possibly in monetary terms) educational standards to encourage personal improvement.
- Provision of high-speed internet connectivity and tailored online educational content delivered via satellite.
- Support for remote learning, e-learning and lifelong learning opportunities for remote and isolated communities.
- Encourage critical and reflective thinking through being curious to know and understand more and by taking a questioning approach to everything.
This should help build a learning organisation.
SDG4 aims to "Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all".
It has ten associated aims, that include:
Ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes.
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.
Ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university.
Substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship.
Eliminate all disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training.
Ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy.
Ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development.
Substantially increase the supply of qualified teachers.
Good Dividends in partnership with QuoLux™ provide purpose-led leadership training programmes to enable leaders to align their businesses with Sustainable Development Goals.
QuoLux™ can help
The aim of QuoLux™ and its Online Leadership and Management Centre is to substantially increase the number of adults who have relevant leadership and management skills to create employment, better jobs and achieve sustainable economic growth. QuoLux™ encourages leaders to apply their learning and to develop themselves, their employees and their workplace, and to positively impact stakeholders, the wider community and the planet.
QuoLux™ has integrated Good Dividends in all that it does to create value for people in employment as it pursues UN SDG 4 (target 4.4).