SDG 4 Background Note - ESCWA

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SDG 4 Background Note

Country: Arab region

Publication Type: Information material

Cluster: 2030 Agenda and SDG Coordination

Focus Area: 2030 Agenda

Initiatives: Arab Forum for Sustainable Development

SDGs: Goal 4: Quality Education, Agenda 2030

Keywords: Covid-19, Basic education, Arab countries, Educational quality

SDG 4 Background Note

March 2022

Even before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Arab region was facing a learning crisis. Despite trends towards increased investment and enrolment, progress in school access, and reducing gender gaps, education is falling short of its transformative potential in the Arab region. Long-standing challenges, including the continued use of outdated teaching and learning methods, variable levels of education quality, and inequitable access and infrastructure, continue to hamper progress in Arab countries.

To harness the transformative potential of education articulated in SDG 4, the region must re-envision education as a societal project aimed at producing critical thinkers, innovators, and engaged citizens. This new vision is critical to achieving the SDGs, disseminating values of equality, justice, and peace, and enhancing the employability of young people. Although Arab governments have adapted to the COVID-19 crisis by adopting new education strategies meant to minimize disruptions to schooling, millions of learners were not equipped to engage with new learning modalities, resulting in learning losses and the risk of deepening inequalities in the long term.

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