We all know how important an education is for getting a good job. But education should be much more than job training. It is a human right with the power to break cycles of poverty, achieve peace, change values and behaviors for the better, and move entire nations up the ladder of development.

But simply teaching literacy and arithmetic or even vocational skills isn’t enough to unleash the full potential of education. It takes quality education that equips every individual with the ethics and skills they need to tackle the daunting challenges ahead as effective leaders for a sustainable future. Especially in the face of added climate pressures, quality education for sustainable development is more important than ever.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates that globally there are now 100 million more children in school than a decade ago. Under the UN’s Millennium Development Goals from 2010 to 2015, a concerted push to achieve universal primary education increased the primary school enrollment rate in developing countries to 91 percent, compared to 83 percent in 2000.

These improvements are critical to the world’s efforts to eliminate poverty. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics (UIS) estimates that the number of poor people in the world would be reduced by 55 percent if all adults completed secondary education. That’s 420 million people lifted out of poverty, because of the social mobility offered by a good education.

But quality education is also an important enabler for other development goals, including good health, reducing inequalities, tackling climate change and building peace.

Read the full story about educating ethical leaders for sustainable development Joanne Lu at Global Washington.