SDG #4: Quality Education
The first out of two murals for SDG #4 is situated at the Samuel Gompers K-8 school, and was painted by Isabella Akhtarshenas.
Isabella Akhtarshenas used her graphic design skills to create an engaging and playful mural for Gompers elementary school. The work celebrates curiosity as children explore ideas with stylized books, telescopes, a tiger, calculators, and musical instruments.
Each mural project contains a grant awarded to a deserving organization doing related work. The SDG #4: Quality Education grant went to the host, Gompers School. Saint Joseph's University funded the $3,000 grant.
Academic partner: David Steingard (Haub School of Business), Saint Joseph’s University
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the world was already falling behind in achieving its education targets. If no further action is taken, only one in six countries will attain SDG4 and provide universal access to quality education by 2030. Approximately 84 million children and young people will remain out of school, and around 300 million students will lack essential numeracy and literacy skills necessary for success in life.
Between 2015 and 2021, school completion rates saw limited progress, with slowdowns observed even before the pandemic. Global learning levels showed no improvement between 2015 and 2019, and COVID-related school closures led to learning losses in the majority of countries surveyed. Pre-primary education access remains far from the target, with a stagnant participation rate of about 75% one year before official primary entry age.
Additionally, formal or non-formal education and training participation is low among adults aged 25-55 compared to youth. Basic school infrastructure and teacher qualifications are also insufficient globally, with a significant number of primary schools lacking access to essential services and a considerable percentage of teachers not meeting national norms for qualifications.
To achieve SDG4, education systems must be reimagined, and increased education financing should be a priority national investment.
GPA celebrates the efforts of artist Isabella Akhtarshenas and the hospitality of host-sponsor St. John’s University. Congratulations to host and grantee Gompers School.