Education is the single most empowering force in our world. Knowledge is power and without sufficient education we are rendered powerless. So is it really surprising that people are unable to break through social mobility barriers when access to a good standard of education is so vastly unequal, and therefore access to knowledge, power and opportunity is hideously unequal?
The gift of education is the best kind of gift; it is a gift of an open door, a door for which many don’t even have the key, let alone the option to walk through.
Goal 4 as detailed in the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals reads: ‘Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.’ With the aim that ‘By 2030, all girls and boys [will] complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education’.
I believe that of all of the sustainable development goals, this is one of the, if not the, most important. Education is the foundation stone upon which lives can be improved, innovation can be encouraged and development can be achieved.
Quality education for all will empower people and provides a route out of poverty and hunger, drives research to find positive solutions to environmental issues, and encourages a reduction of all forms of inequality. Education means acquiring knowledge and a loss of ignorance. It means working together collaboratively, which is important in an increasingly interconnected world and is surely our best route to positive solutions to contemporary challenges.
For this to be achieved we must all play an important role. This means governments, civil society, private companies and, indeed, every individual. We are all part of the problem and we are all part of the solution.
On a national level we must lobby the government and oppose private and grammar schools, and instead encourage a common standard of state school education for all of our children. On a more global scale we must support projects which seek to ensure that children in developing countries have access to some form of education at all.
We must empower all of the children of the world, so that future generations hold the knowledge to build a sustainable world, and lack the ignorance which prevents them from working together.
Image courtesy of United Nations Photo via Flickr