Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Science and society: Bombs, books, and bucks

Daily Times (Pakistan) article (By David Bloom and Joel E Cohen, Tuesday, July 26, 2005.)

"The $82 billion 'emergency supplemental' bill to finance American military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan leaves the United States spending more money on military power than is needed on a yearly basis to permit every child in the world to receive, within one decade, both primary and secondary education. Clearly, the question is not whether universal education is affordable, but whether America and the world can afford to neglect the political, economic, social, and health benefits of educating the roughly 380 million children around the globe who currently do not attend school.............

"The World Bank, UNICEF, and UNESCO have estimated that achieving UPE by 2015 will entail annual expenditures of between $6.5 billion and $35 billion, on top of the approximately $82 billion that developing countries spend each year on primary education. These funds will be needed for schools, teachers, teacher training, materials and equipment, administration, and assessments.

"Based on a five-year project that we led at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, we believe that the UPE goal is not ambitious enough: the world should aim for, and can achieve, high-quality, universal secondary education, as well as universal primary education. Developing countries spend approximately $93 billion per year on secondary education. If a gradual approach is taken between now and 2015, the annual additional cost of extending secondary education to every child will likely be between $27 billion and $34 billion."

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