As we approach this year’s Transforming Education Summit, global leaders can and must prioritize expertise and mobilize political will to support efforts to ensure inclusive and quality education for all, especially girls. This is at the heart of Sustainable Development Goal 4 in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as the commitments made in the Charlevoix Declaration and the G7 Declaration on Girls’ Education.
Despite the progress made in recent decades, gender inequality between girls and boys, in all their diversity, is deepening. According to a recent United Nations report, the interlinked crises: of armed conflicts, climate change and COVID-19 are putting the 2030 Agenda in “grave danger, along with humanity’s very own survival.” These multiplying challenges are “creating spin-off impacts on food and nutrition, health, education, the environment, and peace and security, and affecting all the Sustainable Development Goals.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has deepened the global learning crisis. Approximately 147 million children missed over half of in-person learning in 2020 and 2021 and it is estimated that 50% of refugee girls in secondary school may not return, when their classrooms reopen after COVID-19, whilst 222 million girls were not able to be reached by remote learning during the pandemic.
Shocking new estimates published by Education Cannot Wait (ECW) indicate that 222 million school-aged children caught in crises globally are in urgent need of access to a quality education. These include 78.2 million who are out of school – a majority (54%) of whom are girls – and 119.6 million who are in school but not achieving minimum competencies in mathematics or reading... More