Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

UNCT-GH-UNICEF-education-InnocentKafembe-2016(Photo: UNICEF Ghana 2016 / Innocent Kafembe)

Why it matters in Ghana

Education reduces inequalities, can break the cycle of poverty, foster tolerance, reach gender equality, and empower people to live more healthy lives and attain more productive livelihoods. Education is both a goal in itself and a means for attaining all the other SDGs. It is not only an integral part of sustainable development, but also a key enabler for it.

Ghana has been a regional leader in the delivery of Education for All, reaching the education MDGs well ahead of time. In 2016, net enrolment ratio reached 92% at the Primary level, and 50% at JHS level. Gender parity has been achieved at the kindergarten, primary, and JHS levels. Nonetheless, many students in Ghana do not benefit from a quality education, and girls are disproportionately disadvantaged, especially during the transition to senior secondary education. Often, the school environment is not conducive to learning: classes are overcrowded, water and sanitation facilities are lacking, and trained teachers and school books are in short supply.

How we can help

  • Send your children, boys and girls, to school, and know that all school-aged children have the right to be in school.
  • School proprietors can make sure to create a child friendly environment to make children want to come to school. Teachers are called on to not misuse their position. Everyone is encouraged to report incidence of sexual harassment, discrimination, abuse or any kind of violence against students.
  • Remember that technical and vocational education and training (TVET) are also forms of education. Promote TVET, and teach TVET skills through theory and practice. Provide practical, hands-on (vocational/technical competences) activities in school and connect students to workplace learning.
  • Include education on reproductive health in the curriculum. Furthermore, parents can educate their children on sex and sexuality, and teenagers can seek information about their reproductive health.
  • We can ask our governments to place education as a priority in both policy and practice. We can lobby our governments to make firm commitments to provide free school education to all, including vulnerable or marginalised groups. Policy makers can ensure that our schools are inclusive by making them disability friendly, including, for example, making learning material in braille available.
  • The private sector can invest resources in the development of educational tools and facilities and join forces with educators to ensure that technical and vocational education is up-to-date and relevant to the job market.
  • NGOs can be important partners of youth and other groups to foster the importance of education within local communities.

Global Targets of Goal 4

4.1: By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes 

4.2: By 2030, 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

4.3: By 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university

4.4: By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship

4.5: By 2030, eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and children in vulnerable situations 

4.6: By 2030, ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy

4.7: By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development 

4.a: Build and upgrade education facilities that are child, disability and gender sensitive and provide safe, non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all 

4.b: By 2020, substantially expand globally the number of scholarships available to developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States and African countries, for enrolment in higher education, including vocational training and information and communications technology, technical, engineering and scientific programmes, in developed countries and other developing countries 

4.c: By 2030, substantially increase the supply of qualified teachers, including through international cooperation for teacher training in developing countries, especially least developed countries and small island developing States

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