Click here for search results

Goal 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education

Click here for September 2008 update on MDG Progress

Return Arrow

Return to main MDG page

Goal 2
 spacer
TargetEnsure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling
On the primary school completion rate target, Sub-Saharan Africa is off track for both males and females, while South Asia is on track for females but off track for males. Nevertheless, net enrollment rates for male and female children in both regions have been steadily increasing since 1990. The other four regions are on track to achieve the primary school completion rate target for both males and females; 46 countries in these regions have already achieved full primary completion. In East Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean, where primary school completion rates are already close to 100 percent, literacy rates for youth ages 15 to 24 are also close to 100 percent. Since 1990 significant progress has been observed in literacy rates, along with enrollment and primary school completion, in the Middle East and North Africa and South Asia.
spacer

 MDG2 - Fig 1 - Primary school completion

Click on graph to enlarge
spacer

The primary school completion rate is the percentage of children completing the last year of primary schooling. It is computed by dividing the total number of students in the last grade of primary school minus repeaters in that grade by the total number of children of official completing age. Under certain circumstances, the computation can overestimate the actual proportion of a given cohort completing primary school and sometimes exceeds 100 percent. Country data used to compute regional primary completion rates cover 65 percent of total developing countries’ population.

spacer 

 MDG 2 - Fig 2 - Proportion of countries education

Click graph to enlarge
spacer

Twelve of 14 countries in East Asia and the Pacific (for which data exist) have already achieved the target, but data are still missing for the other 10 countries. Sixteen of 25 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean and 16 of 21 countries in Europe and Central Asia (for which data exist) have already met or are on track to meet the target. Conversely, most countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are off track. In the Middle East and North Africa, 6 out of 10 countries for which data exist have already met or are on track to meet the target, but data are missing for another 4 countries in this region. Fragile states record the largest proportions of countries off track or without data. 
spacer 

 MDG 2 - Fig 3 - Net enrollment rates

Click graph to enlarge
spacer

Primary school net enrollment rates measure the proportion of children of official school age who are enrolled in school, but the rates ignore effective attendance, repetitions, or the fact that children can start school above the official age (as long as they enter school before the official age of completion). Net enrollment rates for male and female children have slightly decreased in East Asia and the Pacific but have remained stable or increased in the other regions since 2000. In South Asia and the Middle East and North Africa the gap between male and female net enrollment has narrowed, but enrollment rates for females are still lower than for males. In Sub-Saharan Africa net enrollment rates have risen steadily since 1990, but the gap between males and females has not significantly narrowed.
spacer 

MDG 2 - Fig 4 - Literacy rates

Click graph to enlarge
spacer

The youth literacy rate is the percentage of people ages 15–24 that can, with comprehension, both read and write a short, simple statement about their everyday life. Literacy rates for males and females have increased in all regions, especially in regions starting from lower levels. For females in South Asia, the literacy rate increased from 48 percent in 1990 to 65 percent in 2005, which complements the progress for this group in net enrollment and completion rates in primary education.
 Photo credit: Curt Carnemark



Permanent URL for this page: http://go.worldbank.org/8EQTJMGUN0