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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. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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!
  4. Publications

    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
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  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. News 2 June 2022

    Attacks on education increased worldwide during pandemic

    Education International is deeply saddened after the release of the latest report published by the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) indicating that over 9,000 students, teachers, and academics were harmed, injured, or killed in attacks on education during armed conflict over the past two years. It reiterates...

    Attacks on education increased worldwide during pandemic
  11. Opinion 31 May 2022

    4 alarming findings about education across countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions

    Christina Kwauk

    Last year at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (or, COP26) in Glasgow, Education International unveiled the Education International Climate Change Education Ambition Report Card . The Report Card featured my analysis of 95 updated, revised, or new Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and their attention to climate change education as...

    4 alarming findings about education across countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions
  12. News 19 May 2022

    Global conference: Education is the key tool to end child labour

    Education International and its member organisations underlined the importance of educators and their unions to eradicate child labour during the 5th Global Conference on the Elimination of Child Labour held in Durban, South Africa, from 15-20 May. They also highlighted the need to provide teachers with training, and to ensure...

    Global conference: Education is the key tool to end child labour
  13. Opinion 16 May 2022

    Education Support Personnel build and protect universities

    Matthew McGowan

    The idea of a university is a noble and important one. A place where knowledge can be shared, tested, developed and expanded. Where people can interrogate everything important about who we are, how the world works and how we fit within it. This happens in an environment built on freedom...

    Education Support Personnel build and protect universities
  14. News 13 May 2022

    Celebrate education support personnel with us!

    On May 16th, Education International and its member organisations will mark the fifth edition of World Education Support Personnel (ESP) Day by holding an online meeting around this year’s theme, Decent Work for ESP Now!

    Celebrate education support personnel with us!
  15. Publications

    Well-being and the education of the whole child

    A background paper by the OECD and Education International for the Pre-Summit Seminar at the International Summit on the Teaching Profession 2022
    10 May 2022

    Published in April 2021 by the OECD and Education International, the Ten Principles for Effective and Equitable Educational Recovery (hereinafter Principles) were intended to facilitate the collaboration of education authorities and the teaching profession, and their organisations, navigate the health crisis effectively and reshape education systems after the pandemic. The...

    Well-being and the education of the whole child
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  16. Publications

    The pandemic - moving forward: Governments and teacher unions working together to leave no-one behind

    A briefing by Education International for the International Summit on the Teaching Profession 2022
    10 May 2022

    Convened by Education International and the OECD, the International Summit on the Teaching Profession brings together governments and education unions in OECD countries in order to strengthen and support an informed and honest policy dialogue between and among elected representatives of the teaching profession and national government authorities.

    The pandemic - moving forward: Governments and teacher unions working together to leave no-one behind
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