May 27, 2023

SDG 4: Quality education


Sanda from Myanmar packs up her things. Even though the journey to school is long, she is looking forward to today: she will meet her friends, learn lots of exciting things and they will also be celebrating "100 Schoolday" today: the 100th day of this school year. The 10-year-old is not only looking forward to the celebration itself, but also because she is well aware that this is not a matter of course. Many of her peers from her region are currently unable to attend school; the tense political situation in the country means that many schools are still closed.

And not only in Myanmar: according to a UNESCO estimate, there are still over 260 million children worldwide who do not attend school. Of these, 64 million do not even go to elementary school. Girls are particularly affected, as they are far more likely to have to help out in the household or have had to drop out of school due to early pregnancies. The special hygienic needs of schoolgirls are also not catered for in many facilities and the young women stay away from school.

The right to education is one of the enshrined human rights (Article 26). This is why the global community decided to provide all children and young people worldwide with an inclusive, equitable and high-quality education by 2030. This was defined as the 4th SDG of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Adequate education does not just mean learning to read and write: for girls in particular, every additional year of school brings important multiplier effects. These include better income opportunities, a lower probability of early marriage and an improvement in their health and well-being as well as the health of future generations. At national level, economic growth and social prosperity are also strongly associated with the educational opportunities of the population.

After eight hours of school, Sanda returns home tired but happy. We are happy for her that she has the opportunity to educate herself and thus shape her own future. Through our work in the projects, we try to give many more children this opportunity, for example through scholarships. In addition, we organize further education and training in areas such as nursing, hygiene and obstetrics through various initiatives. We attach particular importance to ensuring that these courses are also attended by the female population.

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