The objective: To ensure universal primary education

to ensure universal primary education

If most of the Millennium Development Goals have been set by 2015, the target of achieving gender parity should be reached ten years earlier – in recognition that equal access to education is the very foundation of all The other Objectives.Yet recent statistics show that for every 100 boys who do not go to school, there are 117 girls in the same situation. Until an equal number of girls and boys are enrolled in school, it will be impossible to accumulate the knowledge needed to eradicate poverty and hunger, fight disease and protect the environment sustainably. And millions of children and women will continue to die unnecessarily, which seriously jeopardizes progress in development.

Target 2015:
Ensure that all boys and girls complete a full course of primary schooling.

According to a 2001 estimate, about 115 million school-aged children, mostly girls, do not go to primary school.

Girls’ education promotes development for all.

Achieving the Education Goal will facilitate the achievement of all other Millennium Goals. The education of children contributes to reducing poverty and promoting gender equality. It helps to reduce infant mortality rates and promotes respect for the environment. It is inextricably linked to Goal 3 – gender parity – since universal primary education requires, by definition, equality between boys and girls. Parity in primary education, however, will be of limited value if few children of both sexes have access to it.

In addition, education – in particular free primary education for all – is a fundamental right that governments have committed themselves to fulfill under the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child.

See map: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

UNICEF promotes quality basic education for all children, with an emphasis on gender parity and the elimination of disparities of all kinds. Girls’ schooling, ensuring that they stay in school and learn, is what UNICEF calls a “multiplier effect”. Educated girls tend to marry later and have fewer children, and these children in turn have a better chance of survival, adequate nutrition and school attendance. Educated girls are more productive at home and have better paying jobs. They also participate more in decision-making in the social, economic and political spheres.

The school also offers children a safe environment where they are supported, supervised and socialized. This is where they acquire the skills needed to protect themselves against diseases such as HIV / AIDS and malaria. They can also receive essential vaccines, clean water and micronutrient supplements at school. For a girl, education greatly reduces the risk that her children will die before the age of five.

On the other hand, children who do not have access to quality education become more vulnerable to abuse, exploitation and disease. Girls, more than boys, are likely to be abused when they do not go to school. In many villages, a school is also a haven for children, a place where they can make friends, be mentored by adults, have access to latrines and clean water, and sometimes receive Food aid and health care.

Yet, even these basic services are inaccessible to hundreds of millions of children. These children are deprived of their right to education because their families can not afford to pay for school because their communities are too poor or too isolated to have school and school materials or because they Must work to supplement household income. Children from indigenous groups or ethnic minorities often face discrimination and are excluded from education, as are children with disabilities.

HIV / AIDS has decimated schools, communities and families around the world, in addition to orphaned and vulnerable children. Civil conflict and humanitarian crises also deprive children of their right to education. Often, it is the girls who suffer the most from this problem. They are the first to be withdrawn from school when money runs out or when there is work to do at home, if a family member has to be treated, if the school is too far away, or In situations of widespread insecurity. What are the consequences ? The promise of a new generation fades forever.

To achieve the Education Goal, measures must be taken to meet the human and material resource needs – buildings, manuals and teachers. Conditions must also be met for all children to go to school and complete a full cycle of quality education. This means, among other things, parity in society, ensuring good health and nutrition, and strong support from governments and communities.

What UNICEF does:

Conduct mobilization and advocacy campaigns. UNICEF is launching global information campaigns on the importance of education, including girls’ education, and is spending $ 233 million on these activities. Her initiative “Go girls! Education for Every Child “, for example, aims to raise public awareness, solicit public support and mobilize resources for the” 25 by 2005 “program to accelerate the schooling of girls in 25 countries. These campaigns are carried out with a wide variety of partners – children, teachers, religious leaders, among others – and sport, for example, football and cricket, are involved in getting the message across.

“Accompany” countries in the development and implementation of policies. UNICEF offers countries that wish to benefit from it a continuing multi-sectoral support that goes beyond mere funding. These include actively participating in day-to-day decision-making, without being intrusive or trying to impose conditions, respecting a country’s own development vision and favoring cooperation within Development aid.

More and more countries, for example, are adopting sector-wide approaches to expand their education services, while UNICEF and other key development partners are involved in policy and planning processes.

UNICEF provides essential support for collecting and reporting data on the educational status of children, helping to develop more reliable educational information management systems, and sharing good practices and innovations that have Policy development. UNICEF also recommends courageous measures to advance enrollment and participation rates, for example, eliminate tuition fees and reduce other costs, and develop an “essential learning module” for use in Emergency situations.

Promoting early childhood care and development so that education takes a “good start”. Children have a greatly diminished learning ability if they are sick, malnourished or suffer developmental delays. UNICEF helps build the capacity of communities and families to protect and assist disadvantaged groups, including children orphaned by HIV / AIDS.

UNICEF is also responsible for purchasing and distributing vaccines for some 40 per cent of children in the developing world, while providing information and initiating interventions to combat malaria, dracunculiasis and Anemia, diseases that prevent children from going to school and learning. National campaigns and local advocacy efforts help inform home care providers about best practices in hygiene and nutrition, including breastfeeding.

Learning begins at birth and investment in quality care and early childhood development can dramatically improve children’s potential for academic success and lifelong learning. UNICEF supports these initiatives in community-based early childhood care and development programs through parent education and linking health, hygiene promotion, nutrition and Other early intervention initiatives.

Strengthen partnerships for girls’ education. UNICEF is the lead agency for the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative, a partnership formed to achieve gender parity and gender equality targets in education. Launched by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan at the World Education Forum in Dakar in 2000, the Initiative provided a platform for action and a partnership framework for the global advocacy movement. Girls ‘Education the global girls’ education movement  .

UNICEF is also a key partner in the Fast Track Initiative for Education for All launched by the World Bank in 2002 and supported by many bilateral donors to mobilize resources for The objective of education. The Initiative helps countries formulate policies, collect data, build capacity and secure funding, and optimize resources.

UNICEF has also developed the “25 by 2005” strategy, which aims to accelerate progress through advocacy, grants, problem solving and community partnerships in order to improve parity in education In 25 countries requiring emergency assistance in this area.

UNICEF has also championed the Girls’ Education Movement (GEM), an active community-based initiative in several African countries that officially started in Uganda in 2001. The mission of GEM clubs is to empower Girls through education and to explain to communities that it is important that all children go to school.

Help schools provide materials, clean water and sanitation. Water, sanitation and hygiene are essential to encourage girls to go and stay in school because they are the ones who suffer the most from the absence of latrines or unhygienic facilities. Many girls do not go to school full-time when there are no clean and separate sanitary facilities, and some of them even drop out of school when they get into their teens and begin menstruation. The lack of water at home also prevents girls from attending school because they are usually responsible for fetching from distant sources. And children of both sexes lose nutrients,

UNICEF actively participates in water, sanitation and hygiene projects in schools, and in 73 countries provides assistance to provide manual pumps to primary schools and train Teaching of hygiene. UNICEF also supports the purchase of equipment such as canned schools, a ready-to-use kit that contains exercise books, pencils, erasers and scissors for a teacher and 80 students.

Protect the right to education in emergencies. At any given time, between one-third and one-quarter of UNICEF countries are affected by emergencies caused by conflict, economic crisis, natural disaster, or a combination of these factors.

In order to give children a sense of normality and to protect them from the violence and exploitation they most often suffer – especially girls – in such situations, UNICEF helps to provide tents, equipment and resources Human resources as part of its back-to-school programs. Together with his partners, he is also involved in massive Back to School Campaigns, and offers longer-term support to governments to support the resumption of quality educational activities, refurbishment of schools and infrastructure, And the development of accelerated and appropriate strategies for children who have missed school.


Worldwide, significant advances have been made in enrollment / attendance at primary school, and if the current trend continues, most countries in the Middle East / North Africa, The East and the Pacific, and Latin America and the Caribbean will set the course for 2015. Similarly, in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (ECO / CIS), although the pace of progress is expected to accelerate, The target can certainly be reached. In all of these regions, the increase in the enrollment / attendance rate must also be accompanied by an increase in the completion rate of primary education.

There has also been steady progress worldwide in the overall enrollment / attendance rate. In 2001, the global net primary enrollment / attendance rate (NE / AR) (1) was 82 per cent, meaning that 115 million school-aged children did not go to school ‘primary school. Moreover, UNICEF projections indicate that by 2005, the percentage of primary school-age children attending school will increase to 86 per cent.

This is remarkable – it means that if the school-age population remains constant or decreases in the world between 2000 and 2005, according to UN forecasts (3), the number of out-of-school children Below 100 million for the first time since data of this type is recorded.

However, this does not guarantee that every child will have a full course of primary schooling in 2015. The pace must be accelerated. The world will need to maintain an annual rate of increase (AARI) of the NE / AR of 1.3 percent over the next ten years. UNICEF estimates and projections indicate that three regions – Middle East / North Africa, South Asia and West / Central Africa – will not meet the target of gender parity in primary By 2005, and will need to significantly improve their AARIs to achieve the Millennium Development Goal.

Global policies and strategies developed in the future will help countries to record exponential increases in their AARI through a series of “major leaps” in their school attendance rates.

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