Setting commitments: National SDG 4 benchmarks to transform education
As the world reaches the midpoint in implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the international education community is still reeling from the impact of the long school closures that characterized the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is in this context that the second review of SDG 4 at the High-level Political Forum is taking place. In response to the major challenges ahead, the UN Secretary-General is also convening the Transforming Education Summit to put education at the top of the political agenda.
It is therefore timely that countries have committed to achieving concrete progress by 2025 and 2030 on seven SDG 4 benchmarking indicators: early childhood education attendance; out-of-school rates; completion rates; gender gaps in completion rates; minimum proficiency rates in reading and mathematics; trained teachers; and public education expenditure. Inspired by the UN Secretary-General’s 2014 call for countries to embrace ‘a culture of shared responsibility’ based on ‘benchmarking for progress’, paragraph 28 of the Education 2030 Framework for Action in turn called on countries to establish ‘appropriate intermediate benchmarks ... for addressing the accountability deficit associated with longer-term targets’.
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