Global Sustainable Development Goal - 4
Finally, when we are climbing the first mountain for our personal success, our sphere of influence is very limited. We only manage to impact, for the better, our own life and perhaps our family, may be our community and occasionally others beyond our vicinity. However, on the way to the second mountain our sphere of influence is unlimited. We can help everyone prosper and make their lives a little better. And given the growing gap between the 1% and the other 99%, it seems to me there is a real need for each of us to help the other 99% prosper, and One of the most effective paths to prosperity is education. Although, education has been around for a while, the gap keeps growing, perhaps it is time to re-define education.
So the final insight, is Re-visualizing EDUCATION and defining it as Globally Relevant Education And Training and call it GREAT Education
A quality education is one that focuses on the whole child—the social, emotional, mental, physical, and cognitive development of each student regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or geographic location. It prepares the child for life, not just for testing.
Last September, the United Nations (UN) ratified 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to serve as benchmarks for every nation to ensure global prosperity, protection of the planet, and an eradication of poverty.
This Agenda is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. It also seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom. We recognise that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. All countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership, will implement this plan.
— Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, United Nations
Goal 4 of the SDGs was a unique goal focused purely on education. This is the first time such a standalone education goal has been set and ratified.
Goal 4—Quality Education: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning
For those who agree with the role that the UN plays, it is hard to disagree with any of the goals or much of the wording. The call for a Quality Education - not merely access to any education - is a grand step in ensuring that all children, and not just those from high-income countries, have a quality education.
But what do we mean by a quality education?
There are some who argue that the threshold of quality education is met by focusing only on literacy and numeracy, but the SDGs are a recognition that this definition is insufficient and outdated. Education is not simply a content delivery system; rather, it is a system designed to help all children reach their full potential and enter society as full and productive citizens. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon set the SDG process in motion in 2012 by declaring that every child must be in school, and the quality of those schools must improve so that students are prepared to be productive citizens, ready to lead the future.
Education must fully assume its central role in helping people to forge more just, peaceful and tolerant societies.
We must make sure that what comes out of the indicator roundtables taking place in 2016 defines and addresses the term Quality Education.
Too many times, we have seen the meaning of words be adjusted, stripped, diluted, or subjected to complete metamorphoses. Words and phrases like accountability and data driven have had their well-intentioned and appropriate meanings changed. Accountability is now code for teacher evaluations linked to student academic achievement, while data driven too often equates to test scores only.
The meaning of a Quality Education is one that is pedagogically and developmentally sound and educates the student in becoming an active and productive members of society. A Quality Education is not one that is measured purely by a test score or by how many words per minute a 5-year-old can read. To hark back to these simplified measurements is to do a disservice to both the student and the phrase Quality Education itself.