Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Reaching the Marginalized: Is a Quality Education Possible for All?

I attended a meeting at the Brookings Institution that marked the release of the 2010 Education for All Global Monitoring Report. The interest in the report was so great that the large auditorium was full and registration for the meeting had to be closed. The meeting benefited not only from a presentation by one of the authors of the report, but by comments from experts from the World Bank, the Government of Kenya, UNICEF and Brookings itself.

The presentation of data through 2007 made it clear that the goals set for 2015 will not be met unless there is a major improvement in the commitment of countries and donors to the effort, and perhaps some new mechanisms found such as effective public-private partnerships. It seems clear that the current economic crisis will reverse some of the successes to date. I personally emerged from the meeting convinced that the goals of universal primary education, significantly improved adult literacy rates and gender equality in educational opportunities will NOT be met, even though they seem modest enough.

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