6 Achieve universal primary education

What is the current situation in the world?

Too many children are still denied their right to primary education, if current trends continue the world will not meet the goal of universal primary education by 2015.

Between 2008 and 2011, the number of out-of-school children of primary school age fell by only 3 million.

Children and adolescents from the poorest households are at least three times as likely to be out of school as their richest counterparts. Rural children are nearly twice as likely to be out of school as urban children.

Among the 137 million children who entered first grade in 2011, 34 million are likely to leave before reaching the last grade of primary school.

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.

1.42 years
until 2015

1990 2015
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