6 Achieve universal primary education
Where are we?
For the Arab States, progress towards the achievement of MDG 2 has seen mixed success. On aggregate, the region has seen improvement in net enrolment rates, gender parity in primary schooling and literacy rate of young adults aged 15-24.
Despite these advances, enrolment, school completion, out-of-school children and the issue of marginalization in education continue to act as impediments to the achievement of Universal Primary Education (UPE) in the Arab States. Challenges remain significant and some countries such as Iraq, Lebanon, Oman and the Occupied Palestinian Territory show indications of regression in some indicators.
More than 60 per cent of the primary school aged children not enrolled in school in the region were girls, and 53 per cent of them are expected never to enroll, compared with 39 per cent of out-of-school boys. Apart from gender disparity, other challenges to enrolment are faced in the form of geographical and rural-urban inequality and conflict. An estimated 30 per cent of rural children in the Arab States are out-of-school compared with 18 per cent of those living in cities and towns.
The progress of the Arab States in reaching UPE through the indicator of full primary cycle completion shows that school retention rates are heavily affected by repetition and dropout rates, wherein the quality of education plays a huge role. Within this context and upon the figures available, it is clear that Sudan, Yemen, Mauritania, Iraq and Morocco are clearly off-track and need to revise and accelerate their efforts.
The 8 Millennium Development Goals
- 1 Eradicate extreme hunger and poverty
- 2 Achieve universal primary education
- 3 Promote gender equality and empower women
- 4 Reduce child mortality
- 5 Improve maternal health
- 6 Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
- 7 Ensure environmental sustainability
- 8 Develop a global partnership for development
Targets for MDG2
- Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling
- Net enrolment ratio in primary education
- Proportion of pupils starting grade 1 who reach last grade of primary
- Literacy rate of 15-24 year-olds, women and men