Education

MDG 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education

Goal 2.A: Primary Schooling for all boys and all girls

Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling.

Fast Facts

The following facts are from The Millennium Development Goals Report – 2013 (published by the United Nations).

  • Literacy rates among adults and youths are on the rise and gender gaps are narrowing

  • New national data show the number of out-of-school children dropped from 102 million to 57 million from 20000 to 2011

  • Primary education enrollment in developing countries reached 90 per cent in 2010

  • Achieve universal primary education

    • Ensure that, by 2016, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling

      • Enrolment in primary education in developing regions reached 90 per cent in 2010, up from 82 per cent in 1999, which means more kids than ever are attending primary school.

      • In 2011, 57 million children of primary school age were out of school

      • Even as countries with the toughest challenges have made large strides, progress on primary school

      • Even as countries with the toughest challenges have made large strides, progress on primary school enrolment has slowed. Between 2008 and 2011, the number of out-of school children of primary age fell by only 3 million

      • Globally, 123 million youth (aged 15 to 24) lack basic reading and writing skills. 61 per cent of them are young women

      • Gender gaps in youth literacy rates are also narrowing. Globally, there were 95 literate young women for every 100 young men in 2010 compared with 90 women in 1990

Picture from UNDP – Millennium Development Goals – Education

Developing regions have made impressive strides in expanding access to primary education with an enrolment rate from 83 per cent in 2000 to 90 per cent in 2012. Even after 4 years of primary schooling, as many as 250 million children cannot read and write worldwide causing difficulties in further learning. Early school leaving remains persistent. About one in four children who enter first grade are likely to leave before reaching the last grade of primary school. (The same rate as in 2000.) Literacy rates are rising with the greatest rise in Northern Africa (from 68 to 89 per cent) and Southern Asia (from 60 to 81 per cent).

Poverty, gender and places of residence are key factors keeping children out of school. Children and adolescents from the poorest households are three times more likely to be out of school than children from the richest households. Even in the richest households, girls are more likely to be out of school than boys although this gap is narrowing.

Progress in reducing the number of out-of-school children has come to a standstill as international funds to basic education in 2011 fell for the first time since 2002.This stalled progress, combined with reductions in aid, has put the chances of meeting the 2015 target at risk.

With the “Let Us Learn” initiative, under guidance of UNICEF, 3,917 five-year-olds (60 per cent girls) were enrolled in school readiness programs, including 153 disabled children from the most disadvantaged regions of rural Bangladesh. This program was done in other countries also such as Afghanistan. UNICEF helped some 3.56 million children and adolescents gain access to formal and non-formal basic education. Successful programs were also executed in Cambodia, Brazil, Guatemala, United Republic of Tanzania, ...