Around 54% of children out of school are girls. In sub-Saharan Africa, almost 12 milliongirls may never enrol. In Yemen, nearly 80% of girls out of school are unlikely ever to enrol,compared with 36% of boys. Literacy remains among the most neglected of all education goals,with about 759 million adults lacking literacy skills today. Two-thirds are women.Millions of children are leaving school without having acquired basic skills. In somecountries in sub-Saharan Africa, young adults with five years of education had a 40% probabilityof being illiterate. In the Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Guatemala, fewer than half of grade3 students had more than very basic reading skills. Some 1.9 million new teacher posts will berequired to meet universal primary education by 2015.The urgent international measures required include: increased concessional financial
support through bilateral aid and the World Bank’s International Development Association
(IDA), with a commitment to increase IDA replenishment from US$42 billion to US$60 billion; areview of the implications of the global economic downturn for the financing of developmenttargets in advance of the 2010 Millennium Development Goals summit; an emergency pledgingconference during 2010 to mobilize additional aid for education; budget monitoring to pick upearly warning signs of fiscal adjustments that threaten education financing, with UNESCO
coordinating an international programme to these ends; revision of the IMF’s loan conditions to
ensure consistency with national poverty reduction and Education for All priorities.
The ultimate measure of any education system is not how many children are in school,but what
and how well
they learn. There is growing evidence that the world is moving morequickly to get children into school than to improve the quality of the education offered.