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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 2020-07-09

    Palestine: Training in e-learning critical as return to education deferred

    As COVID-19 cases increased in Palestine, the General Union of Palestinian Teachers, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, led a project on e-learning. This has assumed greater significance as schools will not reopen in August as had been previously planned.

    Palestine: Training in e-learning critical as return to education deferred
  2. News 2020-07-02

    Brazil: Union mobilises to prevent shutdown of public education

    The Brazilian National Confederation of Education Workers (CNTE) is mobilizing to prevent the shutdown of public basic education in January 2021 due to lack of funding. This Thursday, CNTE is calling its affiliates and educators from around the globe to put pressure on the country’s congress to vote for the...

    Brazil: Union mobilises to prevent shutdown of public education
  3. Statements 2020-06-23

    Statement | 2020 Global Education Monitoring Report: essential findings for inclusive education

    The 2020 Global Education Monitoring Report (GEM Report) Inclusion and Education: All Means All was launched today. The report comes at a crucial moment, with the global Covid-19 outbreak causing a major education crisis, particularly for the most vulnerable.

    Statement | 2020 Global Education Monitoring Report: essential findings for inclusive education
  4. Opinion 2020-06-17

    “COVID-19 crisis: the education situation in Italy”, by Rossella Benedetti.

    Rossella Benedetti

    In Italy, the first COVID-19 cases were discovered at the end of January. It was another month before the spread of the virus forced us to suspend face-to-face lessons. At the beginning of March, teachers, in lockdown at home, began distance teaching, while administrative, technical and cleaning staff still had...

    “COVID-19 crisis: the education situation in Italy”, by Rossella Benedetti.
  5. Opinion 2020-06-12

    Interview | Susan Hopgood: “In the fight against child labour the key to progress is to involve unions”.

    Susan Hopgood

    On the World Day Against Child Labour, Education International President Susan Hopgood gives insights into the work of education unions to eradicate child labour, the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on vulnerable children, the lessons we have learned from previous crises and the way forward.

    Interview | Susan Hopgood: “In the fight against child labour the key to progress is to involve unions”.
  6. Opinion 2020-06-10

    “Coronavirus hits Canada’s campuses”, by David Robinson.

    David Robinson

    As in other parts of the world, the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly and radically upended universities and colleges in Canada. Across the country, campuses are deserted, teaching has migrated to virtual platforms, and important research has been put on hold.

    “Coronavirus hits Canada’s campuses”, by David Robinson.
  7. Opinion 2020-06-05

    ‘You can work from home if the situation at home allows’: Teaching in times of the pandemic, by Josiah Taru.

    Josiah Taru

    The closure of schools has been commended as one of the most effective mitigatory measures to arrest the rapid spread of Covid-19 so far. Millions of learners and educators have been forced to continue learning through emergency remote instruction that involves online teaching. This presents novel challenges for educators in...

    ‘You can work from home if the situation at home allows’: Teaching in times of the pandemic, by Josiah Taru.
  8. News 2020-06-05

    Post-pandemic economic recovery requires radical rethink and global solidarity, say union bodies

    Many economists predict that the COVID-19 pandemic will produce the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Policies and the details of their implementation will not only determine if economic recovery is successful, but if that recovery accelerates or slows the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals...

    Post-pandemic economic recovery requires radical rethink and global solidarity, say union bodies
  9. News 2020-06-04

    International Summit on the Teaching Profession 2020: Teachers recognised as the heroes of the Covid-19 crisis in education

    The 10th edition of the International Summit on the Teaching Profession (ISTP) took place on 2 June 2020, in a webinar format. Co-hosted by Education International and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the ISTP brought together education ministers and education unions for a discussion on the impact...

    International Summit on the Teaching Profession 2020: Teachers recognised as the heroes of the Covid-19 crisis in education
  10. News 2020-06-03

    New Zealand: Historic pay equity increase for education support personnel

    In New Zealand, education unionists have won historic pay equity increases for education support personnel. Over 22,000 school teacher aides have been offered a life-changing pay equity settlement including pay increases of up to 28 per cent.

    New Zealand: Historic pay equity increase for education support personnel
  11. News 2020-06-02

    Cameroon: the resumption of face-to-face classes without proper preliminary planning endangers teachers and students alike

    Organised teachers in Cameroon have warned the government that a resumption of classes on 1 June carried out without sufficient preliminary planning would put the educational community in danger. They have especially insisted on reduced class sizes and the provision of masks and hand sanitizer.

    Cameroon: the resumption of face-to-face classes without proper preliminary planning endangers teachers and students alike
  12. Opinion 2020-05-27

    “Teacher Leadership in the Aftermath of a Pandemic #3: Moving forward”, by Armand Doucet.

    Armand Doucet

    “Together shape a future that works for all by putting people first, empowering them and constantly reminding ourselves that all of these new technologies are first and foremost tools made by people for people.” --Klaus Schwaab, World Economic Forum-

    “Teacher Leadership in the Aftermath of a Pandemic #3: Moving forward”, by Armand Doucet.
  13. News 2020-05-20

    Raise your hand for Justice for Every Child!

    The Justice for Every Child campaign, launched by the 100 Million campaign, urges the international community to take immediate action for marginalised children and young people.

    Raise your hand for Justice for Every Child!
  14. Opinion 2020-05-16

    “Education Support Professionals Need Protection Now!”, by Rae Nwosu.

    Rae Nwosu

    As president of the National Council of Education Support Professionals of the National Education Association (USA), I have the distinct honor of representing Education Support Professionals (ESPs) across the United States. We are crossing guards, bus drivers & bus monitors, paraeducators, secretaries, custodians, interpreters & translators, cafeteria workers, and everything...

    “Education Support Professionals Need Protection Now!”, by Rae Nwosu.
  15. Statements 2020-05-15

    Statement | Stand with ESP, protect education communities everywhere

    Today, on the third ever World Education Support Personnel (ESP) Day, Education International celebrates our ESP members and call upon you to stand in solidarity with ESP all over the globe.

    Statement | Stand with ESP, protect education communities everywhere
  16. Opinion 2020-05-15

    “Hong Kong and Its Education Under the Threat of Covid-19”, by IP Kin-yuen.

    IP Kin-yuen

    This is not the first time that Hong Kong faces a coronavirus attack. The bitter experience of SARS in 2003 which cost 299 lives (including eight medical staff) was horrible and unforgettable. That was the reason why HK citizens responded so quickly to the outbreak of a similar coronavirus and...

    “Hong Kong and Its Education Under the Threat of Covid-19”, by IP Kin-yuen.