Off Track

published 27 August 2019 updated 13 August 2021

Educators Assess Progress Towards SDG 4.

As governments report on progress toward implementation of SDG 4 and other goals at the 2019 High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), Education International provides an assessment of progress on SDG 4 from the perspective of teachers and education support personnel.

Based on a survey of teacher and education support personnel representatives as well as outcomes from EI conferences and research conducted since the SDGs were adopted, the report provides a crucial reality check to offset the overly rosy assessments governments tend to present in their voluntary selfreports.

The report focuses on SDG 4 target areas that educators are well placed to assess: primary and secondary education, early childhood education (ECE), technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and higher education, equity, education for sustainable development (ESD) and teachers, as well as financing and coordination issues.

Some noteworthy government efforts toward implementing SDG 4 are highlighted, but many educators suggest that their governments have not taken the necessary steps to ensure they are able to monitor and implement SDG 4. Educators denounce governments for inadequate coordination, planning and funding of SDG 4. Worse still, some educators reveal that their governments’ policies are actively undermining SDG progress.

Five key obstacles to progress stand out:

  1. Teachers have low status and poor employment and working conditions, making teaching an unattractive profession.
  2. Human and trade union rights are still being violated and educators are inadequately involved in policy development.
  3. Public systems are underfunded and education privatisation is expanding and intensifying.
  4. Inequitable education systems exclude and discriminate against minorities and the vulnerable.
  5. Education for sustainable development, including climate change, is marginalised.

The report emphasises that it is still possible to achieve SDG 4 by 2030 but immediate action must be taken.

Download the report.