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Achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4

In 2015, all countries committed to achieving 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Education International played a critical role in securing a stand-alone goal for education - Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4): Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. Significantly, SDG4 recognised that quality education can only be delivered by qualified teachers.

However, at the current pace, governments will fail to achieve SDG 4. The COVID-19 pandemic poses additional challenges, and risks reversing years of progress on education. Urgent and decisive action is imperative.

Together with our member organisations around the world we are working to ensure that governments live up to their promise to achieve SDG 4 and all its targets by 2030.

  • We monitor progress and hold governments accountable.
  • We advocate for enhanced domestic financing for public education through fair and progressive taxation and international aid.
  • We oppose corporate interests that treat education as a market instead of a public good accessible to all.
  • We promote quality education that is free from violence, develops the “whole child”, builds tolerance, understanding, democracy, respect for human rights and active citizenship for sustainable development.
  • We promote the achievement of the “teacher target” (target 4.c), underlining every students’ right to be taught by a trained and qualified teacher.

Our work in this area

  1. Opinion 22 September 2022

    Education: the challenges ahead

    Eirick Prairat

    In his latest book, L'école des Lumières brille toujours (ESF 2022), Eirick Prairat presents the major challenges ahead for education. In this article, he discusses two relatively recent ones that have appeared in the last two decades: the post-truth challenge and urgent issues concerning our way of life. He also...

    Education: the challenges ahead
  2. Opinion 18 September 2022

    Teachers are ready to transform education — it’s time for governments to step up

    David Edwards

    Despite the global crises facing the world, the power and optimism inherent in education will always provide hope for our future. To move forward from this pandemic, and the deepening inequities it exposed, we need to transform education by fully funding public education systems and investing in, supporting, and respecting...

    Teachers are ready to transform education — it’s time for governments to step up
  3. News 15 September 2022

    World leaders meet to transform education at global summit

    The critically important role of governments as guarantors and providers of free quality public education for all has never been clearer. The United Nation’s Transforming Education Summit (TES) a global meeting of Heads of State to focus on education, will take place on 19 September in New York. The TES...

    World leaders meet to transform education at global summit
  4. Opinion 8 September 2022

    The unheard impact: technology and the teaching profession

    Lainie Keper

    Education International (EI) recently hosted a consultation event to provide feedback into the 2023 Global Education Monitoring Report on technology and education.

    The unheard impact: technology and the teaching profession
  5. Opinion 30 August 2022

    Recovering indigenous names

    Kantuta Conde

    My name is Kantuta, and I am proud to have an Aymara name that identifies me and represents my community. When it rained, my grandmother told me that children who die without a name go to Tata Granizo. Next to him, children make round ice that falls from the sky...

    Recovering indigenous names
  6. Opinion 23 August 2022

    Adapting to Covid-19: Removing the land from indigenous land-based education

    Sydney Krill

    "That’s what the elders are telling us. Go out on the land. This is a perfect time for people to show youngsters how to build a fire in the morning, how to put up a tent. It’s almost spring. If people can get their families out on the land, that’s...

    Adapting to Covid-19: Removing the land from indigenous land-based education
  7. Opinion 16 August 2022

    Ending Ability Grouping to empower Māori learners in Aotearoa New Zealand

    Liam Rutherford

    Variously practiced as ‘ability grouping’, ‘streaming’, ‘attainment grouping’, ‘setting’, ‘banding’ or ‘tracking’, pedagogical practices that group students based on perceived ability or prior achievement are longstanding and widespread world over. Research, however, has long shown that this has negative impacts for students, especially those from lower socio-economic backgrounds, ethnic minorities,...

    Ending Ability Grouping to empower Māori learners in Aotearoa New Zealand
  8. News 9 August 2022

    Mali: Alarming situation in schools under attack from armed groups

    More than 1,800 schools in Mali have closed following attacks or direct threats from armed groups. These groups kidnap teachers, set fire to schools and school materials, and start shooting during lessons. Moustapha Guitteye, General Secretary of the Syndicat National de l’Éducation et la Culture (SNEC), recently went to the...

    Mali: Alarming situation in schools under attack from armed groups
  9. Opinion 9 August 2022

    Including Indigenous identities and ways of knowing in education and science

    Charitie Ropati

    Engineers and scientists are vital to meeting Sustainable Development Goals but the ecological knowledge that Indigenous people hold when we care for the land are things that are central to the existence of life.

    Including Indigenous identities and ways of knowing in education and science
  10. Take action! 19 July 2022

    Teachers around the world mobilise to transform education. Join us!

    1.6 billion students were out of school at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions are still struggling with trauma and learning loss. Teachers and education workers have done the impossible to support their students and school communities in this time of crisis. But the crushing workloads, poor pay, and...

    Teachers around the world mobilise to transform education. Join us!
  11. The Transforming Education Summit: A Toolkit for Education Unions

    19 July 2022

    For the first time ever, the Heads of State of the world are meeting to discuss progress in education. Convened by the UN Secretary General, the Transforming Education Summit (TES) is taking place on 19 September 2022 in New York. It is a very important opportunity for us as education...

    The Transforming Education Summit: A Toolkit for Education Unions
    1. Download
  12. News 8 July 2022

    European educators reaffirm their commitment to enhance the status of the teaching profession for inclusive, peaceful, democratic and sustainable societies

    Confronted with turbulent times for teachers, educational staff and their trade unions, delegates at the Special Conference of the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE), the European region of Education International (EI), took a pro-active stand and reasserted their will to mobilise and organise for quality public education, for...

    European educators reaffirm their commitment to enhance the status of the teaching profession for inclusive, peaceful, democratic and sustainable societies
  13. News 7 July 2022

    Transforming education starts with a new deal for teachers

    Education International brought the voice of teachers and education support personnel everywhere to the Transforming Education Pre-Summit hosted by UNESCO in Paris from June 28 to 30.

    Transforming education starts with a new deal for teachers
  14. News 1 July 2022

    European trade unionists mobilise for quality public education, for the benefit of students, and improved status for teachers and education personnel

    The Special Conference of the European Trade Union Committee for Education (ETUCE), the European region of Education International, to be held from 5-6 July, in Liège, Belgium, will provide an excellent opportunity for ETUCE affiliates’ representatives to meet in person again and strengthen the bonds of solidarity between teachers and...

    European trade unionists mobilise for quality public education, for the benefit of students, and improved status for teachers and education personnel
  15. Opinion 28 June 2022

    Transforming our understanding of refugee teachers and teaching in contexts of forced displacement

    Chris Henderson

    In refugee-hosting contexts, teachers contribute more to children’s learning and well-being than any other school-level factor . Refugee teachers also have strong local knowledge and the desire to contribute to better crisis response and recovery outcomes . However, despite their crucial role and the challenging context in which they ensure...

    Transforming our understanding of refugee teachers and teaching in contexts of forced displacement
  16. Opinion 27 June 2022

    Transforming the financing of education

    David Archer

    Faced with an education timebomb, in September, Presidents and Prime Ministers will gather in New York for an unprecedented Transforming Education Summit . Never before have Heads of State been convened to focus their attention exclusively on education, but this is now truly urgent as progress towards globally agreed education...

    Transforming the financing of education