There have been some tremendous achievements with regard to universal primary education. This is true for both boys and girls, which means we are doing fairly well of in relation to MDG2 and the target on girls’ education in MDG3!
But there are remaining challenges:
- Sexual violence and abuse in and around schools happens in all countries. In some countries it has reached epidemic proportions.
- While the out-of-school population has decreased to 72 million children (a 28% decline from the start of the decade), the number of children who are not learning(due to poor quality in terms of both academic competencies and skills) still stands at several hundred million.
- The achievements are not as great in the poorest countries and especially not in the most marginalized parts of the poorest countries. Being a girl in a poor region in a poor country often increases tremendously the risk of being out of school.
- Learning content and methods are often out-dated. Gender stereotypes often reinforce rather than challenge power imbalances.
Some of these challenges can only be effectively addressed if more resources are made available. Others, however, can be addressed effectively if there is commitment to utilize the resources available in a different way. Please find attached the Dakar Declaration on Girls’ Education and don’t miss this chance to move forward on girls’ education!
- David Wiking and Nitya Rao, Co-Chairs of UNGEI GAC
2 September 2010