The 17 Sustainable Development Goals were agreed upon over a year ago. Goal 4 On September 6, 2016 UNESCO published the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report. Jeffrey Sachs, American economist and director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, said that “without education, we will not achieve any of the Sustainabke Development Goals.” Education ties all goals together. For example, according to Sachs, in order to have stable and inclusive societies, secondary education is required. The GEM Report, however, makes clear that education is underfunded. A yearly funding gap of $40 billion exists, equivalent to two weeks of US military spending, according to Sachs. Admittedly, colleges all over the United States do feel the funding gaps. Students at CUNY have been struggeling with tuition increases, and are facing more in the future. What will the future of affordable education look like?
Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, believes that “edu
cation is a human right and saves lives.” This is especially important in the contact of the refugee crisis. Bokova demands education has to be part of he humanitarian response for refugees. Education can be an engine of change. 36% of children that are out of school live in conflict countries. But education is crucial to empower individuals, to teach them life skills, to teach them positive values. Youth should be given tools to bring along change. Children everywhere are waiting to have a full life and education is the path to it.