WE PRESENT TO YOU THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDG)
What are the Sustainable Development Goals?
Officially coming into force on the 1st January 2016, these universal goals apply to the citizens of the world. The goals will guide and mobilize efforts in all countries to eradicate all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change while leaving no one behind. Over the next 15 years (to 2030), UN member states will be expected to frame their policies and strategic plans around the SDGs.
Despite building on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the SDGs are unique as they call for action by all countries regardless of the status of their economic development, to promote prosperity while conserving the planet.
Improving Health, Focus where it counts!
SDG NO.3 –GOOD HEALTH & WELL-BEING
The sustainable development goals (SDGs) are a new, universal set of goals, targets and indicators that UN member states will be expected to use to frame their agendas and political policies until 2030. Amongst the seventeen goals, goal number three is specifically related to health. Health, however, is also related to most of the remaining sixteen goals, such as reducing poverty (Goal one), improving education (Goal 4), and providing access to clean water and sanitation (Goal six).
The third Sustainable Development Goal, aiming at improving Health and Well-being, consists of thirteen targets.
1- By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births.
2- By 2030, end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1,000 live births and under-5 mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1,000 live births.
3- By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases.
4- By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being.
5- Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol.
6- By 2020, halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents
7- By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes.
8- Achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.
9- By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination.
10- Strengthen the implementation of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in all countries, as appropriate.
11- Support the research and development of vaccines and medicines for the communicable and noncommunicable diseases that primarily affect developing countries, provide access to affordable essential medicines and vaccines, in accordance with the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health, which affirms the right of developing countries to use to the full the provisions in the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights regarding flexibilities to protect public health, and, in particular, provide access to medicines for all.
12- Substantially increase health financing and the recruitment, development, training and retention of the health workforce in developing countries, especially in least developed countries and small island developing States.
13- Strengthen the capacity of all countries, in particular developing countries, for early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks.
Seychelles has achieved some of the targets under SDG 3 before it was even launched. Maternal and child mortality were already low compared to many other countries with similar GDP. Our vaccination programmes work well and our reproductive health care services are available to everyone. Having health care services which are fully funded by the state have enabled us to stand out on a global scale, especially when it comes to Universal Health Coverage.
Despite these achievements, our health system still faces challenges. Firstly, improvement is required in the quality and delivery of health services. Secondly, we need to find new solutions for retention of health care workers, and reduce the current high turnover of health care professionals. Thirdly, we need to tackle the increasing levels of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, and put more effort in combating the HIV and AIDS epidemic in the country.
One of the ways we could improve health is to increase the amount of resources we put into prevention. The World Health Organisation’s definition for health indicates that health is not merely the “absence of disease”. Yet, in many cases, the burden of diseases in a country has been the main factor in determining the level of health in its community. The constant distress of health care systems across the world could be explained by the fact that wellness and prevention are systematically neglected. There is a tendency to spend most of the funds in reacting to emergencies, creating more of a sick-care system or disease management system, rather than a health care system. Even if it is important to help ill people to get their health back, it is remarkably more efficient to keep them healthy in the first place.
Improving health status of the country requires effective cross-departmental action. Aside from the health care system, other determinants of health are education, food, housing, socio-economic status and the living environment. Effective communication across all governmental departments, leading to a broader context of government action on health will have a greater impact than improving the health care system alone.
More efforts are required when it comes to recruitment, development, training and retention of the health workforce. The high turnover of health workers makes improving quality of the system challenging. We may even need to start questioning whether we are sacrificing quality by giving free healthcare, and whether having free healthcare is sustainable.
Finally, the community needs to get involved in improving and promoting health, independently of the Ministry of Health. The sense of responsibility for one’s own health by adopting healthy practices can do wonders for the community. This type of promotion started off well in 2014 when the theme “My Health, My Responsibility” was first launched. Schools created activities under that theme without any contribution from the ministry. The power the community has in combating non-communicable diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, just by improving lifestyles, should not be underestimated. The health sector can enhance that by increasing the health literacy with innovative health education programmes, and other sectors can contribute by creating an environment to facilitate healthy choices. If we could all stop the blaming games regarding our health and start changing the things that are in our control, then I foresee nothing but the building of a happier and healthier Seychelles!
Join the global conversation. Use the hashtags #sey4sdg , download the SDG Action app, visit globalgoals.org – help make the SDGs famous and tell the leaders of the world that this is what we want.
You can also visit http://www.globalgoals.org/take-action/ and choose an NGO to get involved with: Global Citizen, Save The Children, UNICEF, UNDP – the choice is yours.
Quality education for a youth today equates to the success of a country’s future tomorrow”..“All the SDG’s come down to education…” — Malala Yousafzai
GOAL NO. 4 - QUALITY EDUCATION
The global education agenda (Education 2030) is part of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), that make up the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development. The Global Goals and targets aim to stimulate action over the next fifteen years in the Five Ps of critical importance: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership. The success of these goals is driven by the educational goal. The SDGs reflect the important role of education by encapsulating targets in a stand-alone goal (Goal 4).It is to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’.
SDG 4: What does it mean?
In a nutshell, Under SDG 4, the UN targets that -
4.1 By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes
4.2 By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education
4.3 By 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university
4.4 By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship
4.5 By 2030, eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and children in vulnerable situations
4.6 By 2030, ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy
4.7 By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development
4.a Build and upgrade education facilities that are child, disability and gender sensitive and provide safe, non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all
4.b By 2020, substantially expand globally the number of scholarships available to developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States and African countries, for enrolment in higher education, including vocational training and information and communications technology, technical, engineering and scientific programmes, in developed countries and other developing countries
4.c By 2030, substantially increase the supply of qualified teachers, including through international cooperation for teacher training in developing countries, especially least developed countries and small island developing States
Why is SDG 4 is important to the world?
Did you know?
• Of the 67 million out-of-school primary-school-age children, 53% are girls. Of the lower secondary out-of-school adolescents, 52% are girls.While girls are less likely to be in school, boys are more likely to repeat grades or drop out altogether.
• In most developing countries, public school is not free. The costs of books, uniforms, and teachers’ salaries are borne by the students’ families.
• That 67 million primary-school-age children are still denied the right to education.
• As much as 115 million children of primary school age are not enrolled in school. Therefore more than 226 million children do not attend secondary school.
• Over 40 years, equitable access to quality education can help a country raise its gross domestic product per capita by 23%.
We can all say that Education is accessible in some parts of the world and that it is not our problem if in another country it does not exist or it is lacking.
Maybe it can also be argued that we have a lot of time to rectify the situation and that right now the world is faced with bigger problem’s then to worry about why a child is dropping out of school or as to whether developing countries are receiving quality education. The truth is that the evidence and the facts presented shows us that somewhere along the line of a teacher administrating education and a child receiving this said education, somehow the important aspect of “how” and “why” subjects are being thought is lost. In this phases the aspect of administrating “quality” education disappears because a society is only trying to teach because we have to.
Why is SDG4 important to Seychelles?
“The direction in which education starts a man or women will determine his future life.” - (Plato)
As a youth, I understand the profound effect that good teachers and a quality educational will have on the lives of young people. A lack of access to quality education for a youth in any country is a lack of quality education for everyone everywhere for it hinders the human and economic development, for to not invest in the quality education of our youth today is not investing in our future generation for tomorrow. The truth of the situation is that “how we reach the goal matters” and the fact is, no matter how good the teacher, how small the class, how focused on quality education the school may be none of this matters if we ignore the individual needs of our students. Therefore SDG 4 is important as it will allow us as a country to better understand, tailor and improve how Seychelles administers education. To both the students and the teachers.
Therefore even though education is accessible in Seychelles the Sustainable Development Goal number 4 has numerous targets to reach by 2030 that our small island developing state can benefit from such as;
*substantially increase the supply of qualified teachers. Including international cooperation for teacher training in small island developing States such as Seychelles.
*ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development
* Build, equip and upgrade education facilities that are child, disability and gender sensitive and provide safe, non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all.
*By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship
What actions are being taken in Seychelles towards this SDG?
At present, Seychelles has
•ensured that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes
•ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education
•ensured that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy
•ensured equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university
What can you do to help?
• Educate yourself of the Opportunities to study and be exposed on an international level
• Introduce better Technology as it can help us to fundamentally transform education delivery.
• Tailor and adopt the methods of teaching to reach every youth. As well as on the Field experiences and exposure both local and on an international level
• Study the different methods used in countries whose education system is top in the world such as Finland
• Invest and train teachers and give them better incentives for their value to the society is great.
• ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development
• Continue investing to better educate yourself as well as improving the Educational System in Seychelles for the concept GIGO states - Garbage in, Garbage out. Let us improve, upgrade, change, tailor and learn from properly collected evidence and data of where we stand on the educational ladder.
• As a youth Do not rely blindly rather educate yourself and strive to always believe in yourself and never give up on your education for it will define your future.
• As a parent Do not rely on results, rules and the system to educate and discipline your child. Be an active role in your child’s education, work together with the school and teachers not against them. Impact your child and do not hesitate to discipline and correct their wrongs.
• A youth no matter what age will allows need the support of both their teacher and parents for after all a youth has two homes. Their parents house and their school, these are the two locations that they spend most of their time in. Both a home and a school has to work together to ensure the success of administering quality education.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” - Nelson Mandela , therefore let us give the Citizens of Seychelles & the youths the quality tools to change their future!