Sustainable Development Goal 4

Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

Since 2000, there has been enormous progress in achieving the target of universal primary education. The total enrolment rate in developing regions reached 91 percent in 2015, and the worldwide number of children out of school has dropped by almost half. There has also been a dramatic increase in literacy rates, and many more girls are in school than ever before. These are all remarkable successes.

Progress has also been tough in some developing regions due to high levels of poverty, armed conflicts and other emergencies. In Western Asia and North Africa, ongoing armed conflict has seen an increase in the number of children out of school. This is a worrying trend. While Sub-Saharan Africa made the greatest progress in primary school enrolment among all developing regions – from 52 percent in 1990, up to 78 percent in 2012 – large disparities still remain. Children from the poorest households are up to four times more likely to be out of school than those of the richest households. Disparities between rural and urban areas also remain high.

Achieving inclusive and quality education for all reaffirms the belief that education is one of the most powerful and proven vehicles for sustainable development. This goal ensures that all girls and boys complete free primary and secondary schooling by 2030. It also aims to provide equal access to affordable vocational training, to eliminate gender and wealth disparities, and achieve universal access to a quality higher education.

Sierra Leone Facts and Figures

Source: Statistics Sierra Leone


Proportion of girls completing primary education



Proportion of girls completing senior secondary education




Net primary school enrolment rate




Youth literacy rate (persons aged 15-24) 




Ratio of girls to boys in primary education




Adult literacy rate (literacy rate ages 15+) 



Sierra Leone IndicatorsBaselineSource of Baseline Data (Date)CurrentSource Page NumberSource of Current Data (Date)Targets
By End 2020By End 2025By End 2030
4.1.1 Proportion of girls completing primary education65.40%2015 Annual School Census and UN projected population figure for Sierra Leone65.10%225MICS6 (2017)76.90%88.50%100.00%
4.1.2 Proportion of boys completing primary education66.60%63.30%225MICS6 (2017)77.70%88.90%100.00%
4.1.3 Proportion of girls completing junior secondary education48.70%41.90%225MICS6 (2017)65.80%82.90%100.00%
4.1.4 Proportion of boys completing junior secondary education53.60%47.30%225MICS6 (2017)69.10%84.50%100.00%
4.1.5 Proportion of girls completing senior secondary education15.10%17.50%225MICS6 (2017)43.40%71.70%100.00%
4.1.6 Proportion of boys completing senior secondary education21.70%27.40%225MICS6 (2017)47.80%73.90%100.00%
4.1.7 Net primary school enrolment rate65.40%Education & Literacy Report - Census (2015)   100.00%100.00%100.00%
4.1.8 Net junior secondary school enrolment rate21.00%   53.50%76.70%100.00%
4.1.9 Expected years of schooling (years)8.6UNESCO (2016)   9.7710.9312.1
4.2.1 Net pre-primary school enrolment rate20.80%Education & Literacy Report - Census (2015)   38.90%69.50%100.00%
4.5.1 Ratio of girls to boys in primary education1.051.03xiSchool Census (2018)=/> 1=/> 1=/> 1
4.5.2 Ratio of girls to boys in junior secondary education0.930.99xiSchool Census (2018)0.970.981
4.5.3 Ratio of girls to boys in senior secondary education0.750.91xiSchool Census (2018)0.870.931
4.5.4 Ratio of girls to boys in technical-vocational training     1.471.231
4.6.1 Youth literacy rate (persons aged 15-24)69.00%DHS (2013)68.00%5MICS6 (2017)   
4.6.1 Youth female literacy rate (persons aged 15-24)61.80%DHS (2013)64.00%5MICS6 (2017)   
4.6.1 Youth male literacy rate (persons aged 15-24)76.20%DHS (2013)71.90%5MICS6 (2017)   
4.6.2 Adult literacy rate (literacy rate ages 15+)44.70%DHS (2013)49.90%  55.50%65.20%75.00%
4.6.2 Adult female literacy rate (literacy rate ages 15+)35.50%DHS (2013)41.50%38MICS6 (2017)   
4.6.2 Adult male literacy rate (literacy rate ages 15+)53.90%DHS (2013)58.30%39MICS6 (2017)