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Education for All: UNESCO says more effort needed on ambitious project

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By Andrea Buring
Education for All: UNESCO says more effort needed on ambitious project

‘Must do better’ is the conclusion of the latest report from UNESCO’s Education for All programme. The global round-up has some alarming statistics, including that only half the world’s countries are providing all their children with primary education and there’s a huge funding gap to be filled if that situation is to be remedied.

Global: Number of primary school children enrolled in school

The report highlights discrimination faced by girls and minorities across many of the nation’s surveyed. But it’s not all negative; broad progress has been made in achieving education targets in many places. In this edition of Learning World Maha Barada presents three stories exploring the good and the bad, and focusing on the issues at the heart of the UNESCO report.

UNESCO: bad marks for most countries

In this interview Learning World producer Andrea Buring talks to Aaron Benovot, Director of UNESCO’s Global Monitoring Report about what has been achieved since the launch of the Education for All programme 15 years ago. She discovers that after a promising start most countries failed to follow through on their commitments to improve education.

How many countries reached the universal primary education goal?

India: more kids in school

Standing out from the overall grim assessment of the report are a few shining examples of astonishing progress.

In 2000 in India there were 16 million primary aged children out of school. Today that figure has plunged to just one million. In this story we visit one village where an education revolution has taken place.

India: number of primary school children officially enrolled in school

A government-backed awareness campaign featuring Bollywood stars played a big part, watch the campaign below.

Mexico: better education on the margins

One of the stated aims of Dakar was to extend education to marginalised communities. In this report we discover the CONAFE initiative which helps ensure smaller schools get the resources and infrastructure they need. It’s made big a difference to indigenous communities where previously getting an education was a distant dream.

Click on the video at the top to see these stories in full.