6 Achieve universal primary education

What is the current situation in the world?

Net enrolment rate in primary education increased by 7 percentage points, from 83 per cent to 90 per cent between 2000 and 2012.

There were still 58 million children out of school in 2012.

An estimated 50 per cent of out-of-school children of primary school age live in conflict-affected areas, even though these areas are home to only 22 per cent of the world’s primary-school-age population.

Between 2000 and 2011, the proportion of pupils in developing regions starting first grade who completed the last grade of primary education remained at 73 per cent. 

The youth literacy rate for the population 15–24 years old increased globally, from 83 per cent in 1990 to 89 per cent in 2012.

The adult literacy rate, for the population 15 years and older, increased from 76 per cent to 84 per cent.

Still, 781 million adults and 126 million youth worldwide lacked basic reading and writing skills in 2012

For the first time since 2002, aid to basic education fell: from $6.2 billion in 2010 to $5.8 billion in 2011. 

What is the current situation in Turkey?

Photo: Cem Hakan Özaslan

The literacy rate of 15-24 age group on the other hand reached 97.4% in 2008. In Turkey, a significant increase in enrolment rates for both boys and girls is observed between 1995 and 2009.

In 2009, the net enrolment ratio in primary education was 98.2%. However, the existing differences between genders show that females require more attention.

The Turkish Ministry of Education however has past and continuing initiatives regarding the issue. The “OK Girls, Off to School” (Haydi Kızlar Okula) campaign initiated in 2003 targeted the 10 most disadvanataged provinces in Turkey. The campaign enlarged to 33 provinces in 2004 and to 53 provinces in 2005.

Quick facts
  • In 2011, 57 million children of primary school age were out of school, down from 102 million in 2000.
  • More than half of these out-of school children live in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Globally, 123 million youth (aged 15 to 24) lack basic reading and writing skills; 61 per cent of them are young women.

Source: 2013 Millennium Development Goals report

Targets for MDG2
  1. Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling
    • Net enrolment ratio in primary education
    • Proportion of pupils starting grade 1 who reach last grade of primary
    • Literacy rate of 15-24 year-olds, women and men