Universal Primary Education
Diego San Martin
Millennium Development Goals
Eradicate Extreme Poverty Improve Maternal Health
Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria
Achieve Universal Primary and Other Diseases
Promote Gender Equality and Sustainability
Develop a Global Partnership
Reduce Child Mortality for Development
Goal Two: Achieve Universal Primary
– Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys
and girls alike, will be able to complete a full
course of primary schooling.
2.1 Net enrolment ratio in primary education
2.2 Proportion of pupils starting grade 1 who reach last
grade of primary
2.3 Literacy rate of 15-24 year-olds, women and men
Why is education important?
One in four adults
in the developing
world cannot read
– 2/3 of them are
Advantages of Education
Helps reduce poverty and child mortality
Helps promote concern for the
environment and gender equality.
School becomes a safe environment with
support and adult supervision.
School offers children necessities that they
may not receive at home.
– ex. bathrooms, meals, clean water, and
possibly health care.
Children learn life skills that may help them
prevent diseases – avoid HIV/AIDS and
Advantages of Education for Girls
“Multiplier Effect” – educated girls
are more likely to marry later and
because of that have fewer children.
– An extra year of schooling reduces
fertility rates by 5-10%. (Herz and
– A child from an educated woman is
more likely to survive and will be
better nourished and educated.
– Educating a girl dramatically
reduces the chance her child will die
before age 5.
Advantages of Education for Girls
Women’s education is strongly correlated with a
better life at an individual, social, and family
– Educated mothers are more likely to send their
children to school helping break the cycle of
intergenerational poverty. (Unicef)
– Educated mothers are 50 percent more likely to
immunize their children than mothers with no
Lack of Education
Increases vulnerability to abuse, exploitation, and
– Girls are at greater risk of such abuse when they are not in
Increased cycle of poverty, gender inequality, and
higher child mortality rates.
– Poor Education System
– Uneasy Economies
– Child Labor / Exploitation
Poor Education System
Although Universal Primary Education is focusing on reaching
the day every child attends elementary school, it is not focusing
on secondary school.
With no focus on secondary school many children drop out after
a couple of years to help earn income for their family.
Different school systems throughout the world do not follow
– Different class sizes ranging from several students to hundreds.
– Different standards
Ex. In the United States children need to be able to read and write by
the end of 2nd grade but in some African countries children are only
expected to know how to read a few words and write their name by the
end of primary school.
Education in Latin America
Latin American workers have an average
of 4.8 years of education.
50 million Latin Americans cannot read or
Main problem – drop out rate
– 92% of children begin primary school, but
only 32% continue on to secondary school
During times of harvest peasant
children and teenagers drop out of
school to help work. When they return
to school, due to the inadequate system
of schooling, many children are forced
to repeat the entire year causing most
children to just drop out and become
part of the agricultural labor force.
School attendance and literacy
rates decline during economic crises.
– In response to the 1997 Asian Financial
crisis many children throughout all of
Asia were taken out of school.
– Secondary school enrollment in the
Philippines increased only 0.9 percent
between 1997/98 and 1998/99, after
growing at an average annual rate of
2.6 percent the previous five years
(World Bank 2000).
Education in Asia
China – success
– 1949: 20% enrollment rate; 1985: 96% enrollment rate
– In 1986 the Nine-Year Compulsory Education Law: primary schools are to
be tuition-free and in close proximity to students
Education reform: students from poor families receive stipends; states are
encouraged to establish their own schools.
– Over 1/3 of the population is living in poverty.
– In South India children are taken out of school in response to years of
economic slump (Jacoby and Skoufias 1997).
– Caste System
Negative attitudes towards the education of daughters
In war-torn nations and around
the world many acts of violence
affect schools are every single
Schools are targeted and
attacked daily causing many
children to be forced to go to
school in a shack or an
Once schools become targets of
violence parents withdraw their
children from school and without
other options many begin to
Education in the Middle East
– Up to 330,000 children have their education disrupted regularly
by closures, violence, and destruction of property.
Children of preschool age are most affected
– Militants often destroy all-girl schools that provide shelter for girls
from the violence they face everyday.
– During the Taliban’s six- year regime girls were banned from
attending school and women were confined to their houses.
– Since the American influence in Afghanistan dozens of
schools have been attacked and destroyed by Taliban
insurgents over the last couple of years.
Child Labor / Exploitation
Poverty: causes children to drop out
of school and begin to work.
Child labor: 1 in 6 children in the
world do not go to school because
Children who are not in school are
more prone to being kidnapped and
becoming a part of the human
trafficking trade, slave trade, or a
Education in Africa
In Sub-Saharan Africa around
one in three children are
engaged in child labor – 69
Schools are too far away and too
In Uganda many children are
abducted by the terrorist group
Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
– Nearly 25,000 children have
been kidnapped by the LRA,
and are forced to be laborers,
frontline soldiers and, in the case
of girls, sexual slaves.
Education in the United States
Net enrollment rate about 96%.
– Close to universal school participation ages
– 76% enrollment rate, ages 15-19
– 1 in 4 high school students drop out.
Recently education has been less of a
priority due to the economic crisis. Schools
have faced many cutbacks on classes and
teachers especially in California.
According to President Obama, "In just a
single generation, America has fallen from
second place to 11th place in the portion of
students completing college. That is
unfortunate, but it's by no means
Universal Education: Foundation for
Millennium Goals do not stand alone.
– Universal education will speed up progress towards all
Educating children helps reduce poverty. It is
education that will provide the next generation with
the tools to fight poverty and conquer disease. At
school they learn life skills that can help them
prevent diseases, like how to avoid HIV/AIDS and
This goal is linked to MDG 3 – gender equality – as
universal primary education requires that all
children may be able to attend school.
Where are we now?
Sub-Saharan Africa is off track.
South Asia is on track for males
but off track for females.
The other regions are on track to
achieve the primary school
completion rate target.
46 countries have already
achieved full primary completion.
– East Asia and the Pacific, Europe,
Central Asia, and Latin America
and the Caribbean
– Literacy rates for youth ages 15 to
24 in these regions are also very
close to 100 percent.
What can be done to ensure Global
Start to train teachers
Build schools and classrooms
Improve the quality of
Remove barriers to attendance
– Cultural stigmas
– Fees and lack of transportation
What can YOU do?
Donate money to
organizations that help
build schools worldwide or
Donate books to schools,
libraries or community
Volunteer abroad tutor and
– Peace Corps