Home > Our Goals > Goal 1: Uphold the Right to Quality Education
Students take a break from their exams in Ndeini Primary School in
Kenya. The school is located in Kibwezi a town in Makueni County
where severe drought is a common occurence. Managed by
Edmund Rice Development, a Misean Cara member organisation,
the school provides access to education to some of the poorest
children in the area, many of whom are orphans. Photo: Lar Boland.

Students take a break from their exams in Ndeini Primary School in Kenya. The school is located in Kibwezi a town in Makueni County where severe drought is a common occurence. Managed by Edmund Rice Development, a Misean Cara member organisation, the school provides access to education to some of the poorest children in the area, many of whom are orphans. Photo: Lar Boland.

Why this Goal?

Sustainable Development Goal 4 aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all by 2030. The importance of education cannot be underestimated. Not only is education a basic human right and a gateway out of poverty, the effects of education are significant across all development goals and it is a major catalyst for human development. For example, a child born to a mother who can read is 50% more likely to survive past the age of five.

Significant progress has been made in increasing enrolment rates in schools. However, many challenges remain to ensuring all children realise their right to an education that is relevant to their lives and of an acceptable quality. There are still over 120 million children and adolescents out of school.

More than half of these live in sub-Saharan Africa and 35% live in conflict-affected areas. Marginalised children in particular have been left behind. In sub-Saharan Africa, 90% of children with disabilities are excluded from school and often experience social exclusion also. This marginalisation increases for girls with a disability or who live in a rural area. For those in school the quality of education is often strikingly low, with one in three children who complete primary education still not able to read a sentence. In many countries, the budget allocated to education is inadequate and donor aid, dropping by more than 14% between 2010 and 2014, does not offer a viable solution.*

To achieve Misean Cara’s strategic goal will require action and advocacy to improve the quality of education and more effective ways to support children who are most marginalised and vulnerable.

For centuries, missionaries have provided a high quality relevant education to millions of children around the world. They use their expertise to shape each country’s education agenda through advocacy, campaigning and influencing policy and practice. The holistic, empowering education they provide addresses the physical, intellectual, social, emotional and spiritual needs of those they reach. They encourage a love of learning and a critical questioning mind.

Misean Cara believes that education is the “key to unlocking a person’s and a country’s potential” (quote from Kenyan in-country consultation) and that an “integrated holistic education” (member consultation in Dublin) is vital for leadership, for enabling empowerment, for greater equality and for enabling communities to transform their reality.

Priorities to Achieve Success

  • Increase equity of access to education.
  • Increase quality of education and learning outcomes.
  • Contribute to education systems strengthening.

*Global Partnership for Education. 2015. Global Partnership for Education Financing & Funding Framework.