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Goal #2Universal Education
Introduction

Every human being should have the opportunity to make a better life for themselves. Unfortunately, too many children in the world today grow up without this chance, because they are denied their basic right to even attend primary school. A sustainable end to world poverty as we know it, as well as the path to peace and security, require that citizens in every country are empowered to make positive choices and provide for themselves and their families.

The Targets

Goal 2 of the Millennium Development Goals sets out by the year 2015 to:

  • Ensure that all boys and girls complete a full course of primary schooling
Did You Know?
  • One in four adults in the developing world – 872 million people – is illiterate. (Oxfam UK – Education Now Campaign)
  • More than 100 million children remain out of school. (Source:UNFPA)
  • 46% of girls in the world's poorest countries have no access to primary education. (Source:ActionAid)
  • More than 1 in 4 adults cannot read or write: 2/3 are women. (Source:ActionAid)
  • Universal primary education would cost $10 billion a year – that's half what Americans spend on ice cream. (Source:ActionAid)
  • Young people who have completed primary education are less than half as likely to contract HIV as those missing an education. Universal primary education would prevent 700,000 cases of HIV each year – about 30% all new infections in this age group. (Source:Oxfam)
Achieving the Goals

With the help of donor funds and debt relief, in 2002 Tanzania was able to make primary education free for all Tanzanian children. Almost overnight, an estimated 1.6 million children enrolled in school and by 2003, 3.1 million additional children were attending primary education.

Students like Winifred Kiyabo were finally able to attend schools and create a future for themselves, “When I was nine my father died, that’s when my problems started. My mother didn’t have any money to pay for my school fees, and the teachers used to send me home from school. But now I’m happy… school fees have been abolished, and no one is stopping me coming to school.” Uganda, Malawi, Kenya, and Zambia all have been able to eliminate school fees providing the next generation with the knowledge to succeed in life.

Read More at Oxfam

Goal News

25 September 2008 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today highlighted the key role of education for reaching the globally agreed set of eight targets for slashing poverty, illiteracy and other socio-economic ills by 2015, known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).


According to the draft Health Service Development Plan (HSDP) joint UNDP and Ministry of Heath report of 2005, the per capita health service expenditure of Ethiopia is rated at 5.9 US dollars, the least among a list of other developing countries such as Kenya (31 USD), Uganda(18 USD), and Tanzania(8 USD). The report also indicated that in order to meet MDGs Ethiopia needs to increase the health service expenditure to 34 USD.


The views below are those of Wada na Todo Abhiyan, a national coalition of 3000 organisations and networks in India.

Despite the rhetorical recognition of the ‘twin pillars of the edifice of social sector reforms’, the UPA government has failed to take the historic opportunity to revamp the educational and health infrastructure of the country, even in the fourth consecutive budget of its government.


Titled, “Girls Count: A Global Investment & Action Agenda,” the 89-page report highlighted the systematic disadvantages faced by girls and women in developing countries in areas ranging from health, education, and nutrition to workforce participation and the burden of household tasks.

Countries that do not address these significant disparities risk perpetuating a “cycle of poverty” within their populations, the report said — yet by investing in women and girls, countries can reap significant benefits in the spheres of political and economic development.


Midway to the 2015 target date for achieving the Education for All goals, ministers, donors, and multilateral and civil society representatives committed to a set of actions for 2008 to reach excluded groups, improve education quality and increase the financing of basic education.