Every Child Learns: UNICEF’s Sustainable Development Goal Area 2

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 to end poverty, reduce inequality and build more peaceful, prosperous societies by 2030. Also known as the Global Goals, the SDGs are a call to action to create a world where no one is left behind.

Following our coverage of the Goal Area 1 report, we are now highlighting the major talking points of the Goal Area 2 report:

The Annual Results Report for Education published by UNICEF highlights major trends and issues in the field of education. The Strategic Plan’s midterm evaluation, which took place in 2019, revealed that all three results areas in Goal Area 2 had made progress. It did, however, emphasize the need to quicken the pace of advancement and raise the bar on ambition.

Every child learns

According to World Bank figures, 53 percent of children in low- and middle-income countries are “learning poor”. UNICEF report highlights that 420 million children will fail to attain basic skills in childhood by 2030. Many of the children trying to learn are doing so in education systems that face multiple challenges, including conflict, disease outbreaks, and the growing impact of climate change. The number of children whose lives have been disrupted by conflict and crisis surged to a record high in 2017 and has remained at that level throughout 2018 and 2019.

-Equitable access to education

UNICEF works to reach the most vulnerable children through educational initiatives at all levels. Countries have been assisted in making inclusive and early education a priority in their sector strategies.

-Inclusive education

Inclusive education helps children with disabilities to learn in a mainstream classroom context. It also helps all children work towards achieving their potential.

-Accessible Digital Textbooks for All

UNICEF provided technical support and guidance for the ‘Accessible Digital Textbooks for All’ initiative in Kenya, Paraguay, Rwanda, Uganda, and Uruguay.

-Reaching the most disadvantaged

UNICEF Côte d’Ivoire experimented with an innovative construction approach that used recycled plastic waste bricks. There are presently 26 fully functional classes operating around the country. This alternative method is quicker than standard approaches, lowering the time it takes to build a classroom.

-Education in emergencies

In 2018, more than half of the 20 countries with the lowest levels of learning faced humanitarian crises. In crisis-affected countries, 128 million primary and secondary school-aged children are out of school. Following the crisis in Venezuela, UNICEF provided humanitarian assistance to millions of children both within the nation and those migrating throughout Latin America.

Improving learning outcomes

When learning outcomes are highlighted and evaluated, several encouraging programs have shown tremendous gains for children. Learning assessments must provide information on how to enhance teaching and learning to parents, teachers, and policymakers.

Highlights from the chapter:

– 12.4 million children received learning materials.

– 60,561 school management committees received training.

– 48% of countries have effective education systems for learning outcomes.

– 36% of countries have gender-responsive teaching and learning systems.

Skills development

There is an urgent need to expand, rethink and transform education and learning systems. All children and adolescents, especially those who are marginalized and in conflict and emergency settings.

-Gender equality in skills development

In many countries, progress in educational achievement among girls and young women is not translating into employability. This is because of barriers to skills development opportunities, such as restrictive gender norms. UNICEF is supporting gender-responsive programs and innovations that help bridge secondary education with the world of work.

The Outlook

Even before the pandemic, the world was falling behind on its goal of providing universal access to high-quality education and learning by 2030. UNICEF plans to expand on the growing body of information about the efficacy of various ways to changing education systems to improve learning outcomes. The full effects of the crisis will be enormous, and it will linger for many years in ways that are still unknown. The new Education Strategy establishes UNICEF’s position in regards to the work that needs to be done in Goal Area 2 for the organization to contribute more to the SDGs. It is based on the belief that the most important purpose of education is for every kid to learn.

This coverage by the Broken Chalk foundation is an excerpt from UNICEF’s official report site. For further details and the full report please visit the page

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