Access to quality education is a fundamental human right that plays a vital role in empowering individuals, fostering economic growth and social development. Sustainable Development Goal 4, as defined by the United Nations, aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all. Around the world, many children and adults alike face barriers to receiving a quality education. In some countries, it is stigmatised or outright illegal for women and girls to go to school or university.
Where education is legal, it can be difficult for people to find educational facilities, or pay for them. Entrenched inequalities in education have only worsened as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. SDG 4 is a valuable resource in providing goals for non-for-profit organisations and governments to help improve these situations
The United Nations SDG 4 is crucial in addressing the global education crisis and bridging the gaps in education accessibility and quality. It emphasises the need to provide equitable and inclusive education opportunities for all, regardless of gender, socio-economic status, or location. By focusing on quality education, SDG 4 aims to equip everyone with the necessary knowledge and skills to thrive. SDG 4’s targets and indicators are a great resource to guide nonprofits and governments in increasing the accessibility and quality of education.
The Progress Academy has been built from the ground up with SDG 4 in mind. This nonprofit organisation aspires to serve as an accessible educational resource for Afghan women and girls whose dreams of education have been hindered by the political climate in Afghanistan. By using an innovative online education portal, The Progress Academy will empower Afghan learners with accessible education, providing them with quality learning opportunities.
The online courses offered by The Progress Academy will cover basic literacy and numeracy skills, English language proficiency, and general technology and computer skills.
In Afghanistan, where traditional gender norms restrict women’s access to education, initiatives like The Progress Academy offer an opportunity for women to acquire knowledge and develop skills that will aid them in accessing online jobs, resources and opportunities that would otherwise be out of reach.
Initiatives like The Progress Academy face a variety of challenges when tackling SDG 4, including restricted technology access, cultural barriers and persisting conflicts in Afghanistan. However, they represent a beacon of hope, demonstrating that these social challenges can be supported through collaborative partnerships, empowering individuals and hopefully aiding in the groundwork for future policy reforms and education investments.
Access to quality education is a critical component in creating a more equitable and sustainable world.
It is through initiatives like The Progress Academy, combined with a global commitment to SDG 4, that we can make significant strides towards achieving inclusive and quality education for all.
Partners In Progress wishes to acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work and gather. We pay respect to Elders – past, present and emerging – and recognise their ongoing connection to this beautiful country, with knowledge and stories that have been handed down since time immemorial.