How business leadership can advance Goal 4 on Quality Education
Achieving inclusive, equitable, and quality education for all will require substantial effort. Despite considerable gains in education enrolment over the past 15 years, worldwide, the adjusted net enrollment rate in 2015 was 89 percent for primary education and 65 percent for secondary education. About 263 million children and youth were out of school, including 61 million children of primary school age. Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia account for over 70 per cent of the global out-of-school population.
Although it is the responsibility of Governments to provide free education at the primary and secondary levels, business can play an important role in supporting families and Governments and can provide opportunities for further training and education to workers. Business has a responsibility to provide living wages and decent working conditions to their employees so that employees can fulfil their role as caregivers by sending children to school without having to seek supplementary income. Critically, business should and ensure that there is zero child labour across its operations and supply chain – a key barrier to education for children worldwide. Business is uniquely placed to ensure skills-development for working adults and can take proactive steps to support education at all levels.