What are the Sustainable Development Goals?
In 2015 the UN General Assembly formally accepted a new set of 17 measurable Sustainable Development Goals, ranging from ending world poverty to achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls by 2030. These are to succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of eight measurable goals which were signed in September 2000.
United World Schools highlights Goal 4 of the SDGs, through which it will continue to build on its current achievements:
“Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all.”
Reaching ‘inclusive and equitable quality education’
Though substantial progress was made towards the MDGs, on education alone, a lot more needs to be done to overcome the challenges. According to UNESCO’s 2016 Global Monitoring Report, there are still 61 million children of out of school globally. Of these children, 25 million are in the rural, low-income regions that UWS targets.
These children are some of the poorest in the world, meaning that they are four times less likely to attend school than children in the richest nations. Creating a fair, inclusive, and equitable future requires us to recognise and meet the needs of children in some of the most remote, excluded and far-reaching communities of the world.
It is in these challenging environments that guaranteeing universal primary education has been one of United World Schools’ guiding principles. The SDGs are focused around three pillars that UWS considers crucial for the sustainable and long-term reduction in children out of school: empowering girls, mobilising the local community, and partnering with local and national governments.
UWS’ work towards the SDGs
The global focus moving forward is not only on the quantity of children enrolled in education worldwide, but on the quality of the education these children are receiving. The SDGs represent a focus on literacy and the role of education in achieving a more humane world:
“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.”
In particular, United World Schools continues to rigorously measure its education objectives and achievements in literacy, graduation rates, teacher quality and educational infrastructure. By the end of 2018, UWS is striving to enrol 50,000 children in primary education, of which 17,000 will graduate having completed the full course of primary education.
UWS supplements core teaching with appropriate and complementary life and vocational skills through art, sport, music and logic programmes. Independent learning skills are fostered and nurtured through the UWS self-learning centres and classroom libraries. UWS’ holistic approach to education and quality learning ensures that all children have the necessary basic skills to enter employment within their community or continue on to secondary education.
Increasing children’s prospects and prosperity will bring greater economic security not just to children but also to families and communities. The result: if all children in low -income countries achieved basic reading skills, 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty.
This is a pivotal time for the international development sector with massive implications for global co-operation to end poverty and promote transformative social change. United World Schools remains firmly committed to the fulfilment and timely achievement of SDG Goal 4 working alongside local communities across Southeast Asia.
UWS depends on the kind support of partners and fund raisers and we would love it if you’d join us in our mission to teach the unreached.
If you’re interested in supporting our work, please get in touch via [email protected]
For more information on school partnership see Partner your school, if you are a company looking to sponsor a UWS school see Partner your organisation, or you can make a donation, volunteer, or fundraise to support our work.
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