Seeks to ensure that everyone has access to free and quality education, regardless of who they are or where they live.
103 million youth worldwide lack basic literacy skills, of which 60% of them are women. It’s hard for people to reach their God given potential if they're denied the right of education. Something we take for granted but many millions still see as a luxury. Yet, you don’t have to search the Bible for long to see how important knowledge and education is.
What does education mean to you? by UNICEF #everychild
+ THEOLOGICAL REFLECTION
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds ...Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
It is not by accident that the Church has always been at the forefront of education. In ages past, throughout the Christian world, it has been the community of faith who have first established, schools, colleges and universities, as well as provided the initiative and resource for most of the content of the curriculum. In more recent times the story has been replicated in the two-thirds world as the work of Christian compassion has recognised the central place of learning in sustainable human development.
The reason for such a priority? ‘In the beginning was the word… and the word became flesh…’ For Christians, God has spoken, quite literally spelt out his nature and purpose, and so to hear it, read it, understand it and apply it, is of the utmost significance. Time and time again, ‘knowledge’ is held up in the Bible as of the greatest importance.
Human beings have been endowed with a unique capacity for learning that also provides them with a genuine responsibility. To do our best, as free custodians of creation, requires the application of experience and expertise that is, at root, the product of education in its most powerful sense. If we are to flourish therefore, and enable others to do likewise, we must learn, and give opportunities for everyone who bears the image of God, to do the same.
A world then where access to learning is rationed and reserved for the privileged, is an unacceptable world for Christians. Our world, where 57 million children do not have the option to go to school, 103 million young people lack basic literacy skills and 98% of children with disability in the developing world have no access to education at all, is a world with much room for improvement. The targets of Goal 4 speak of ensuring access to free education, both primary and secondary, for all children. They also look to the quality and equitability of that provision, an issue vital for girls especially. It is not just about children either, but includes commitments to ensure all people, of all ages and circumstances, are able to learn so that they might grow, flourish and contribute to all that God is wanting to do in human society.
+ DISCUSSION POINTS
- Can you think of Biblical verses/stories that speak of education in any sense?
- Why is it that Christians particularly have been so involved in education over the centuries? Is it more than just an expression of charity?
- Why is it important the UK works to create quality education around the world?
- How can you support schools and/or teachers that you know?
+ GOAL 4 IN ACTION
GOasis works in 11 countries around the world with a global vision to build local communities where everyone is included, making a contribution and reaching their God-given potential.
As such, Goal 4 is key to our work. Our educational work has a specific vision to deliver ‘Exceptional Education at the Heart of the Community’ based around a holistic approach to developing a sense of character, competence and community within each individual. In the UK we are responsible for 49 Academies, serving more than 25,000 students. Over 50% of our children come from extremely disadvantaged backgrounds, but we believe there should be no barriers to exceptional education. This same goal characterises all our educational work around the world. Oasis Academy in Musoto, Uganda, provides education for children who would otherwise have been denied it. However, we know that education is about more than schools and so wherever we work we are committed to a holistic approach, providing informal and formal opportunities for every person, whatever their age.
+ WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT?
Personal – Could you become a teacher or a local school governor? Or offer your services as a volunteer to read with, or mentor a young person.
Local – Could your church develop a closer partnership with a local school?
International – Support Oasis to provide an education for a child in one of their Asian or African schools.