Nelson Mandela once said – Education is one of the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. However, when Education is not qualitative, it loses it’s superpower.
The sole focus of the Sustainable Development Goal number 4 (SDG 4 or Global Goal 4) is promoting quality education. The mission statement for SDG 4 is to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”.
According to UNESCO, Education connotes the process of facilitating learning through the acquisition of knowledge, skills and values in schools or school-like environments.
In particular, quality education involves matters like the development of suitable skills, the provision of appropriate school facilities, instructional materials, resources, and teaching staff. Where there is quality education, we see quality learners, learning environment, content, processes, and outcomes.
According to UNESCO, 258 million children and young people worldwide are not in school. For those who do go to school, the education provided is so poor that it does not enable them to acquire basic skills. Based on a 2018 report, 617 million children cannot read a simple sentence, including 64%who have spent at least 4 years in school (Global Education Monitoring Report, UNESCO, 2018).
What are Some Key Elements of Quality Education?
- Educational and Learning Content
A well-prepared curriculum is non-negotiable. The learning content in school curriculums should be all-encompassing, including basic numeracy and literacy skills as well as life and social skills. These skills will be relevant in the complete building up of the child.
- The Teacher and Teaching Methods
The quality of a teacher and the teaching methods adopted are undoubtedly the most determining factors that affect the quality of education. Teachers must have the ability to use relevant and easily adaptable teaching methods in educating their students. Teachers must be properly trained regularly and also be well-paid for the value they offer.
- Learning Environment
The learning environment is a factor that affects the quality of education in schools. It must be healthy, secure, conducive, protective, inspiring, and motivating. Schools must ensure that the environment is inclusive for students regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, or social background.
- School Management
The school system must be properly managed to meet a high standard of education. Every school’s management and administration must have a structure that ensure students are imparted with quality education that gives them a competitive edge globally.
- Teaching Aids and Materials
Quality teaching aids and materials ensure the learning process is practical and removes ambiguity in the content of the subject matter. Schools should adopt teaching aids to help with the easy association of topics.
Access to Quality Education is Beneficial in the Following Ways:
- It reduces the number of school dropouts.
- It eliminates discriminatory learning gaps between individuals.
- It provides everyone with the skills needed for everyday life.
- It provides individual fulfilment.