Despite impressive gains in recent decades, challenges persist in accessing inclusive and good-quality education. Some 263 million children do not attend primary or secondary education. There are also increasing concerns that even if children and young people attend school, they learn very little or acquire skills that fail to match labour market demands. Inequalities in education persist, characterised mainly by poverty, gender, disability, location, and migrant or refugee status. Moreover, young people increasingly find themselves lacking employment and future prospects.
To address these challenges, the Netherlands pledges itself to the vision of the SDG4 with six key policy objectives:
1. Improving universal access to primary and secondary education.
2. Improving learning outcomes in mathematics, reading and other relevant skills.
3. Improving educational opportunities in conflict-affected countries and emergencies.
4. Investing in young people’s skills development for empowerment and increased opportunities for economic and civic participation.
5. Improving equity and inclusion within education.
6. Improving individual and institutional knowledge and capacity development in higher education.
The Netherlands seeks to achieve these objectives through diplomacy and investments through global funds and bilateral programmes. In all of its activities, the Netherlands seeks close co-operation with a diverse set of actors.