Day 6: «Quality education», SDG Goal 4 discussed on the SDGs consultations

Ashgabat, 11 March 2016: Today’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) consultation on the Goal 4 «Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all» was co-led by the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the Ministry of Education of Turkmenistan and representatives from the regional United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) office, based in Tehran, Iran. Such agencies as the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the World Health Organization (WHO) and UN Women have assisted in the discussion. The goal includes the following background,

 

 

«Since 2000, there has been enormous progress in achieving the target of universal primary education. The total enrolment rate in developing regions reached 91 percent in 2015, and the worldwide number of children out of school has dropped by almost half.

 

There has also been a dramatic increase in literacy rates, and many more girls are in school than ever before. These are all remarkable successes.

 

Progress has also faced tough challenges in developing regions due to high levels of poverty, armed conflicts and other emergencies. 

 

In Western Asia and North Africa, ongoing armed conflict has seen an increase in the proportion of children out of school. This is a worrying trend.
 

While sub-Saharan Africa made the greatest progress in primary school enrolment among all developing regions – from 52 percent in 1990, up to 78 percent in 2012 – large disparities still remain. Children from the poorest households are four times more likely to be out of school than those of the richest households. Disparities between rural and urban areas also remain high.» [1]

 

Representatives of about five national ministries and agencies discussed the proposed ten targets to the Goal 4 and their relevance to Turkmenistan. Participants of todays’ consultation agreed to adopt 10 global targets, with seven of 11 indicators accepted without modification, four were adjusted to the local context and one national indicator was developed. No indicators were left for further clarification.

 

One of the main components discussed on consultations was the importance of increasing the number of people with relevant skills, such as soft, technical and computer skills. These skills will raise employment chances. For this reason it is recommended to prepare human resources development strategy in the country.

 

Also, for the country with the upper middle income level, more scholarships program for international students need to be developed. Turkmenistan already has programs for students from Afghanistan and Tajikistan. More scholarships will give more opportunities to disadvantaged students.

 

 

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