Dr Jordon Naidoo, Director Education for All, UNESCO delivers a Sussex Development Lecture examining the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 on Quality Education
2015 was a landmark year for international development with the adoption of ‘Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets demonstrate the scale and ambition of a new universal agenda. The 2030 Agenda is a call to action by all countries, poor, rich and middle-income, to strengthen peace and eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions. Reflecting the scale and ambition of the universal agenda it also covers issues such as inequality, infrastructure, energy, consumption, biodiversity, oceans, industrialization and economic growth. However, the SDGs have drawn criticism for being too broad, unrealistic, not cost-effective and unlikely or impossible to achieve.
As with the overall SDG agenda when it comes to Goal 4 and education, the Transforming our World document states in no uncertain terms that it is a supremely ambitious and transformational vision that envisages a world with universal literacy and with equitable and universal access to quality education at all levels. SDG 4 and Education 2030 has also had mixed reactions especially with regard to its increased scope and level of ambition. Similarly, it underscores the complexity of the task ahead in turning SDG4 into action. This lecture examines the critique of expanded ambition in education, and why despite the potential barriers ambition is necessary.
About the speaker
Dr Jordon Naidoo is the ED/EFA Director for the Division for Education 2030 Support and Coordination at UNESCO, based in Paris.