In case you forgot, MDG stands for Millennium Development Goals.
The second UN MDG seeks to achieve universal primary education. In 2006, 73 million children were not attending school. In some areas of the developing the world, the percentage of children out of school is as high as 29%. Globally, the average is 12%. Most of these children are from poor or rural households and an alarming percentage of them are girls.
Achieving this goal addresses more than just universal enrollment but also learning basic literacy and numeracy as well as completing primary school on time. This means students should be learning to read, acquire basic math skills and complete their primary course before they reach secondary school age. For nations to compete globally in an increasingly technological world, their students need more than basic math and reading. They need to build on a successful primary education experience and complete a secondary education as well. As of 2006, less than 55% of children in developing countries attend secondary school.
The UN estimates that $11 billion is needed annually in direct aid for education efforts in order to reach the goal of universal primary education by 2015.
Despite an increase in funding, we all well short of that monetary goal.
So, what can we do? First, we have to understand that this goal is a basic requirement for the long-term success of all the others. Education opens so many doors. Doors out of poverty and the cycle of violence for one. A door to a better understanding of ourselves and our global community.
We can support Unicef. Their school-in-a-box program supports 80 students. We can keep governments honest and encourage free, universal primary education for all children.