In just one month, on October 16, we will release the 2012 EFA Global Monitoring Report Youth and Skills: Putting Education to Work. In addition to its focus on skills development for young people, the Report will publish the most recent data on progress towards the six Education for All Goals.
To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Report, we have looked back at previous EFA Global Monitoring Reports over the past weeks. It is timely, as the forthcoming review of the education goals draws close, to look back at the 2008 Report which asked ‘Will we make it?’ With just three years to go until the 2015 deadline, can we answer this question with more assurance now?
At the time of the 2008 report’s release, the data were showing some encouraging trends since world leaders met at Dakar in 2000, but it was clear even then that renewed energy and importance had to be given to education goals if the 2015 deadline was to bring positive results. An initial deadline had been set to eliminate gender disparities in both primary and secondary education by 2005. The 2008 Report declared this goal way off track in a vast majority of countries.
A full review of whether this and other goals are on track will be set out in the 2012 Report to be released in one month. Some key statistics already made public, including in our recent policy paper co-published with the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, can help with a quick stocktake. From 1999 to 2008, when ‘Will we make it?’ was published, the latest data showed the number of out of school children had dropped by 35 million to 73 million. Since then, the figure has dropped by a further 12 million to 61 million, but has stagnated in recent years. With only three years to go until 2015, the task of universal primary education looms large.
Other data also suggest a worrying trend. Over the ten year period to 2004, 783 million adults were announced as illiterate, 64% of which were women. Having just celebrated the International Day of Literacy, we heard that there are 775 million adults illiterate still today, of which women still make up almost two-thirds. While population growth is an obvious challenge, and the global figures mask some impressive improvement in individual countries and between regions, it does beg the question: can we still make it?
The tenth edition of the EFA Global Monitoring Report, that you can download here from October 16, will look into more detail in the trends of these and other goals. Join us as we provide new evidence on whether we will make it. Come to one of our over 40 launches worldwide. Watch the live webcast of the global launch from Paris, France at 9am local time hosted on this website. Or, join our live Tweetchat from 2pm French time on October 16 where you can ask your questions to Pauline Rose, the Director of the Report, and to other organisations mentioned in the Report.
The yearly stocktake will be revealed on Twitter when the report is released. Follow us and find out more.