MDG 2: Achieve universal primary education
Today we continue looking at the connection between the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and Jolkona. The second of the MDGs is achieving universal primary education. This means that every child receives the equivalent of an American sixth grade education.
A sixth grade education does not sound like much, and for those of us in the West we often think of someone whoâ€™s formal schooling stops at elementary school as being at a massive disadvantage compared to others with a high school or college diploma or other advanced academic degree.
But with a sixth grade education comes at least basic literacy and arithmetic skillsâ€”skills vital for economic development. Farmers need to know what price they are paying for seeds, store owners need to read property leases, and parents need to read and understand medical dosage information for treating their sick children.
According to the United Nations 2011 MDG Report, as of 2009 about 67 million children are still out of school, down from 106 million in 1999. Of that 67 million, about 48 million live in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia (32 million in Africa, 16 million in Asia). The biggest barriers for the 67 million children still out of school remain gender (being female), poverty and/or being located in a rural community.
Still, some of the poorest countries in Africa (including Burundi, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Togo, and the United Republic of Tanzania) have managed to achieve the goal, giving hope that even the least developed countries can still achieve universal primary education by 2015.
How you can help
Jolkona supports a variety of projects aimed at achieving universal primary education. Here are a few:
- Provide tutoring to indigenous children in Guatemala
- Help teachers at a school in rural Zambia
- Support childrenâ€™s education in India
For more information you can visit the UN Childrenâ€™s Fund (UNICEF) education web site.