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Sustainable Development Goals

It's hard to believe that this year marks the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) - 2015. Yes, in 2000 nations gathered at the Millennium Summit and established a set of eight goals to be achieved by 2015. Among the goals included: the eradication of extreme poverty, gender equality and universal primary education. Although progress has been made towards ensuring that every child has access to an education, 58 million children are still out of school and many nations still struggle with strategy and/or budgetary plans to achieve universal primary education. As the MDGs are set to expire in less than nine months, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will carry on the legacy of the MDGs and provide the framework for the next fifteen years.

The Sustainable Development Goals will focus on the root causes of poverty and examine development with a holistic approach. Each goal will be outlined with targets to be kept between now and 2030. Also, the SDGs will not only focus on developing nations but on the achievement of industrialized countries. Among seventeen proposed SDGs includes one goal centered on education with the outline to equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

The National Education Association is coordinating with the US Mission to the United Nations, with Education International and the Global Campaign for Education, to ensure that language for the new education goal and targets addresses lifelong learning, early childhood education, and prepares young people for decent work. Furthermore, NEA and the international education union community is advocating to ensure the new goal reflects that all learners are taught by qualified, trained, motivated and equipped teachers.

What is an equitable and inclusive education? Education is a human right which should be accessible to all regardless of perceived differences, including those based upon gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, faith, cultural, economic background, or personal characteristics. What are missing from the MDGs is a political commitment and a willingness to create the conditions for success.

As we look beyond 2015 towards the Sustainable Development Goals it is important to reflect on the past 15 years, applaud the successes but examine where progress is idle. It takes a community to enact change, we been given our orders, and let



  • United Nations Post-2015 Process
  • Education in the post-2015 development agenda