This blog was also published by UIS
This series of blogs on the indicators for Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) on education has been careful not to single out any single indicator as being more important than any other. Indeed, if we are to reach SDG 4 – quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for everybody – we have to see all the indicators, from free primary schooling to the availability of qualified teachers, as indivisible.
Yet when we examine SDG target 4.5 on eliminating disparities in education, we find ourselves at the very heart of the SDG vision. A common thread runs through every SDG goal, target and indicator. That thread is equity, backed by strong determination to ensure that nobody is left behind. SDG target 4.5 stands squarely at the intersection between this vision and the measurement of its achievement.
Measures to empower the most vulnerable people
We often hear it said that we should judge a society by the way it treats the most vulnerable people. It is rare, however, to find that the reality matches the spirit captured in these words: the needs of the most vulnerable people are too seldom prioritized on the world’s political and social agendas.
Yet offering additional support to the most vulnerable people is not only the morally right thing to do; it is also in the best interests of countries, because measures to empower those ‘left behind’ to reach their full potential tend to be good for economies and for social cohesion.
SDG target 4.5 promises to: eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and children in vulnerable situations.
This blog explores SDG 4 indicator 4.5.1: the parity indices (female/male, rural/urban, bottom/top wealth quintiles and others, such as disability status, indigenous peoples and conflict-affected, as data become available) for all education indicators that can be disaggregated.
These indices should apply to every SDG 4 indicator that can be disaggregated. As a result, equity-related indicators account for the largest share of the data needed to monitor SDG 4.