The number of children starting primary school has increased sharply since 2000, there are more girls in school than ever before and spending on education and aid has risen. That’s the good news. But on the down side, poor quality, the high cost of schooling and persisting high levels of adult illiteracy are undermining the chances of achieving education for all* by 2015.
Especially hopeful are the findings that primary school enrollment increased by 36% in sub-Saharan Africa and 22% in South and West Asia between 1999 and 2005. Governments in 14 countries abolished primary school tuition fees, a measure that has favoured access for the most disadvantaged. Worldwide, the number of out-of-school children dropped sharply from 96 million in 1999 to 72 million in 2005.