2. Achieve universal primary education


2.A) Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling.


Goal 2


Approximately 75 million children around the world still do not regularly attend elementary school, and almost half have never received any education at all. The United Nations reports that the rate of primary school enrolments has risen over the course of the last decade, to a level at which 89% of children regularly attend school in developing countries. However, this rate of progress is not enough to guarantee that, by 2015, all children will have completed primary education.

Indeed in order to achieve the 2nd MDG "Achieve universal primary education" by the deadline, all young children would need to have been enrolled in school by 2009.

Therefore, despite an 18% increase in enrolment rates in sub-Saharan Africa (up from 58% in 1999 to 76% in 2008), the road ahead appears long. As we approach 2015, the importance of achieving gender equality in terms of education is becoming increasingly clear. Numerous studies and research projects have underlined the fact that it is only through more concerted action to achieve gender equality in the field of education that sustainable progress can be made.

Worryingly in terms of the achievement of this goal, an alarming gap continues to persist between the educational experiences of boys and those of girls, with far fewer girls completing elementary education in developing countries than boys, and with an even greater disparity existing at secondary and university levels.



Campaign for Education
United Nations, The Millennium Development Goals Report 2010, New York 2010