Data to Nurture Learning : SDG 4 Data Digest 2018
UNESCO Institute for Statistics
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According to new estimates from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), more than 617 million children and adolescents are not be able to read or handle mathematics proficiently. About two-thirds of these children and youth are in school, some of them dropping out before reaching the last grade of the cycle (UIS, 2017g). This highlights the critical need to improve the quality of education while expanding access to ensure that no one is left behind. Not only is the learning crisis alarming from a national, social and economic perspective, but it also threatens the ability of individuals to climb out of poverty through better income-earning opportunities. Greater skills not also raise their potential income, but welleducated individuals are also more likely to make better decisions – such as vaccinating their children– and educated mothers are more likely to send their own children to school. The learning crisis is, simply, a massive waste of talent and human potential. For this reason, many of the global goals depend on the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4), which demands an inclusive and equitable quality education and the promotion of “lifelong learning opportunities for all”. UIS data suggest that the numbers are rooted in three common problems. First, a lack of access, with children who are out of school having little or no chance of reaching a minimum level of proficiency; second, failure to keep every child on track and proceeding through the system on time and retaining them in school; and third, the issue of the quality of education and what is happening within the classroom itself.
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