United Nations Global Education Initiative

11 Jan

Millennium development goals set in the year 2000 had a mandate that every child at primary level across the global should have access to basic education by 2015.

On 26th of September 2012 Ban Ki Moon, the secretary general of the United Nations pledged to put education at the heart of the sustainability agenda. The Secretary General launched a dedicated website to address the issues pertaining to education http://www.globaleducationfirst.org/. The initiative “Education First” has already won commitments of $1.5 billion. Has the situation improved is a big question?


Out-of-School Children (Millions)







There are 61 million children of primary education age in the world  without access to education.  Let’s analyze this data over some decades.

Interventions by various governments especially in Africa & South Asia greatly reduced the out-of-school children number from 102.1 million to 61 million but the dark side is that the 61 million figure has largely remained constant for the past 4-5 years.  According to UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics (UIS), of these 61 million children, 47% are expected to never attend the school, further 26% entered the school but left in the middle and the remaining kids are likely to join the school again in the future. Since 1990, South & West Asia have reduced the out-of-school number by two-thirds.  Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 50% of the total out-of-school children in the world.

Efforts like “Education First” have become very important to find a solution for problem of education. In low-income countries such as Burkina Faso, Chad, Sudan & Zambia, an additional year of education increase the average income of the person by approximately 10% and in some countries a correlation was found with the GDP levels.  An additional year of education can lift the GDP by 0.37% annually.

Let’s hope for a better world where everyone is assured access to education. Efforts have to be made to come up with improved policies that address these concerns. It’s time for various Governments across the globe to make education their top-most priority.



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