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Primary Education south of the Sahara

Forty percent of children aged 6 to 11 still do not attend school in spite of the tremendous efforts made over the last 50 years.

Although about 120 million children are enrolled in schools half of them drop out shortly afterwards.

Girls are particularly disadvantaged: they are less likely to start school and they are more frequently removed from school before they have acquired the basic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic which they need to shape their own future.

Someone with these basic skills who has acquired basic information which enables her to survive creatively in her own community is better able to protect her own health (e.g. against AIDS), is more likely to find employment and is more willing to make a contribution to society. People without primary education have fewer chances of improving their long-term living conditions or defending their own interests.

Hence primary education is not an end in itself:
it is the pre-condition for any development process.



United Nations Millennium Declaration, September 2000

We resolve (...) to ensure that, by the year 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling and that girls and boys will have equal access to all levels of education.


Primary Education worldwide: Education for All UNESCO


2000-2015: No countries in sub-Saharan Africa reached global education goals

Paris/New Delhi, 9th April 2015 (Source: Unesco)

Globally, just one third of countries have achieved all of the measurable Education for All (EFA) goals set in 2000. None achieved them in sub-Saharan Africa, and only seven countries in the region achieved even the most watched goal of universal primary enrolment. Sixteen of the twenty lowest ranked countries in progress towards ‘Education for All’ are in sub-Saharan Africa. An extra $22 billion a year is needed on top of already ambitious global government contributions to ensure that the new global education targets being set for the year 2030 are achieved.