How to beat earth 4-1-3-1-1 formation

Goal 4:

“So let's take up the fight against illiteracy, poverty and terror and pick up our books and pens. They are our most powerful weapons. A child, a teacher, a pen and a book can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education is at the beginning of everything. "

Malala Yousafzai, child rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate


While most children and young people from Germany go to school every week, around one in six children worldwide cannot go to school. For the children affected, this means that they have little knowledge and often neither learn to read, write nor do arithmetic. This means that they can only do a low-skilled job later and often earn very little money. Especially children who live in poverty cannot go to school because they lack the money for tuition and school materials. These children go to work early to support their families. Sometimes there is no school nearby. This also makes it difficult for them to get out of poverty. They lack important qualifications and skills.

The low level of education of a population is not only a problem for the people affected, but also for the country as a whole. If there are no educated and qualified specialists in a country, it can hardly develop further and sustainably grow economically on its own.

Even if many children can go to school, more than half of them can still not read and arithmetic properly. This is often because schools and teachers are poorly equipped. Because while schools in Germany are working more and more with computers and technology, almost half of the schools south of the Sahara have no access to drinking water, no electricity, no computers and no internet. In addition, there is a lack of qualified teachers to impart knowledge to the students.

How is the situation in Germany?

In Germany, every tenth of the 18- to 24-year-olds had no completed vocational training, no Abitur or a technical college entrance qualification and did not take part in training or further education. These so-called early school leavers have an increased risk of not finding work, of not earning sufficient income and of living in poverty in the future.

6.2 million people in Germany cannot read and write properly. Many can understand and write individual words, but cannot read or write longer text. Half of them are people whose mother tongue is not German. In schools, people with a migration background often achieve poorer results and drop out 50 percent more often than their classmates with a German mother tongue. This makes it more difficult for them to start their professional life successfully.

© Federal Statistical Office / DESTATIS

More information:

Sustainable Development Goals, 2020 Report, United Nations

Sustainable Development in Germany, Indicator Report 2021, Destatis

Indicators of the UN sustainability goals, data for Germany, Destatis

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