Professor Asha Kanwar, President and CEO of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), makes it clear that to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education that promotes lifelong learning opportunities for all, we must find ways to reach learners regardless of where they are and do so efficiently and at scale.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have provided the global community inspiration for a sustainable future, and a plan of action to help achieve it over the next 15 years. The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) places a particular focus on SDG 4, which aims to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” by 2030. The achievement of Goal 4 would be a remarkable success, but will require new and innovative approaches to overcome the many challenges that stand in its way.
One of the most significant challenges to SDG 4 is that the continuing demand for education far outstrips supply. Last year, 90,000 students applied to Dhaka University, but only 7,000 could be accommodated. India plans to increase enrolment in higher education by nearly 10 million by 2020, and hopes to do this by expanding the current network of 15 public open universities. Over 500,000 students graduated from secondary schools in Kenya last year, but only about 74,000 were absorbed by the 31 public universities in the country…
Professor Asha Kanwar
President and CEO of the Commonwealth of Learning