SDG 4: Quality Education

Education Quality during the Pandemic 

This COVID-19 pandemic has taken impact in many aspects of our lives. Routines, environments, and even our habits are changed because of it. Education is one of the many things that has taken a toll on the impact. The transition of face to face classes into online classes has downgraded the education quality in some elements. This matter has brought our attention to discuss one of the Sustainable Development Goals no. 4, Quality Education. 

Sustainable Development Goals or usually called SDGs are a collection of 17 global goals designed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 with the intention of achieving a better and sustainable future for all where it is intended to be achieved by 2030. In this article, we will focus on goal number four, which aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. This certain goal originates from the education issues where access to education has grown rapidly but growth on education quality has a slow progress in improvement. It is shown by the facts that youths worldwide are lacking basic literacy skills and incapability in standard maths. There are seven targets that need to be accomplished in order to achieve the goal. One of the main targets is to ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable, and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes. People should be constantly reminded to be aware of how important education quality is since it forms future generations’ intelligence and awareness in building a better future. 

Since the pandemic has flared, schools all over the global have taken several actions to prevent the spreading from going further. The most common action is shifting the classes to online classes where the teacher or lecturer can deliver their subjects through video calls or discussion forums. This method naturally lowers the quality of education because of several factors: interrupted home environments which cause low motivation and concentration, disadvantaged families in economics unable to provide sufficient necessities for online classes, and unsupervised teaching sessions that lead teachers incapable to track student’s progress. Unreachable affordable school’s food could be a problem for some students who rely on them. Copyrighted softcopy textbooks causing limited educational resources for students with no school support in licensed sources. Inequality in the family’s socio-economic condition plays a big part in the reason that younger students need adults’ guidance to adjust in this new learning method.

Kindergarten and elementary students are the ones that are most impacted by the current pandemic, the impact of this pandemic could very well cause a long term effect towards the child’s future growth. As we all know, childhood is one of the most important stages of life. A child’s character and behaviour are developed through childhood and school becomes a playground that facilitates those development. Through various school environments and social interactions with fellow classmates, a child can grow into a certain individual, unfortunately the current situation limits those social interactions. If this continues for a prolonged amount of time, it may hinder their ability to do social interactions with other people.

To conclude, the quality of education may have been impacted by the current pandemic, but it doesn’t mean that things will get worse. There will be an end to this pandemic and the best thing we can do right now is to abide with government rules and continue our education online. A few steps that can be taken by the government to maintain the quality of education is by providing free quota to students all around this country since not everyone can afford it and online education requires a lot of it. The second thing that the government can do is to subsidize school and college monthly tuition fees. By doing that, hopefully those who are financially struggling can still provide decent education to their children.

Schools and universities should start preparing resources to rebuild the loss in learning. How these resources are used and how to target the students, especially who are hard hit (badly affected), are open questions.

Writers: David Samuel Setiawan, Selly

Editor: Ratu Annisa Gandaari