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Off track: educators warn of slow progress at first major review of SDG 4

Today EI joins governments and other stakeholders at the United Nations High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York to review progress towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4.

Four years after the adoption of the SDGs in 2015, this is the first major review of the progress made in implementing the goal on quality education. During the HLPF (9-18 July 2019) other goals under review include: SDG 8 on Decent Work and Economic GrowthSDG 10 on Reduced InequalitiesSDG 13 on Climate ActionSDG 16 on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions and SDG 17 on Partnerships for the Goals will also be under review. These goals’ interrelations and their links with SDG 4 will be considered.  Forty-seven countries will present their voluntary national reviews of progress towards implementing the SDGs.  

 

Statistics show that progress is too slow 

Kicking off the discussion on progress on SDG 4, the Statistics Division of UN DESA showed that, though some limited progress has been made, there is still a long way to go and many challenges to address before we have any hope of achieving SDG 4 by 2030. The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to education, Koumbou Boly Barry, reminds us that there are still far too many children who are left behind and have their right to education violated.  

 

EI president highlights the key obstacles slowing implementation according to educators  

As a key discussant in the session, EI president Susan Hopgood will give educators’ perspective of progress towards the SDGs. According to EI’s report informed by the views of our member organisations, we are severely off track to achieve the SDGs by 2030. Not enough governments have taken the necessary steps to implement SDG 4, and some have implemented policies that actively undermine the agenda.  

 

Hopgood will highlight 5 key bottlenecks that impede progress: poor employment and working conditions for teachers and education support personnel; the continued violation of human and trade union rights; under-investment in public systems and the increasing privatisation in and of education; inequitable education systems; and little commitment to ensuring universal education for sustainable development including climate change.  

 

Educators believe that, though these challenges are large, they are not insurmountable and call on all governments to ensure strong political will, good planning and coordination, and adequate investment to implement the SDG 4 agenda. 

 

To call for your government to #committoeducation, consult the communications pack for advocacy during the HLPFhere 

Download EI’s new report, “Off Track: Educators Assess Progress Towards SDG 4”: here 

Download a summary of key findings in English, French and Spanish here.