Universal education and gender parity essay

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Some 104-121 million children of primary school age are not in school, with the worst shortfalls in Africa and South Asia. Girls are disproportionately affected, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and East Asia and the Pacific, where 83% of all out-of-school girls live (UNESCO, 2004).

Universal Education and Gender Parity Essay

In this essay I will discuss whether I believe that Africa will reach the global goal of universal primary education and gender parity at all levels of education by 2015. I will use my findings to distinguish whether I believe Africa will reach the specified goals by 2015.

Firstly I will focus on whether Africa will reach the global goal of universal primary education by 2015. According to African Development Bank Group (2009) Most African countries are on track to achieve universal primary enrolment by 2015, if current trends continue, however even though according to The United Nations (2010) enrolment in primary education has continued to rise and is reaching 89 per cent in the developing world the pace of progress is still insufficient to ensure that, by 2015, all girls and boys complete a full course of primary schooling. The African Development Bank Group (2009) states that if actions are taken to improve access to primary education for children from poor households, for children who live in rural areas, and for HIV orphans will diminish the problem at hand.

With all inquisitions the African Development Bank Group (2009) states that Africa as a whole has an increase in the primary completion rates however The United Nations (2010 states that half of the sub-Saharan African countries have at least one in four children of primary-school left school in 2008 therefore although getting children into school is a vital first step one needs to keep the children attending classes, this will then increase the probability that one will receive the full benefits of education.

According to The United Nations (2010) Household data from 42 countries show that rural children are twice as likely to be out of school as children living in urban areas. The data also show that the rural-urban gap is slightly wider for girls than for boys. But the biggest obstacle to education is poverty. Besides the rural-urban gap, there was an average increase of 5.3 percent in completion rates in 17 African countries between 2005 and 2006 (African Development Bank Group 2009). The average primary completion rate is low in countries in conflict and in countries emerging from conflict and thus current trends show that the continent is unlikely to achieve the primary completion target (African Development Bank Group 2009).

According to the United Nations (2010) in order to meet the goal, countries will also need to ensure that there are enough teachers and classrooms to meet the demand. Between now and 2015, the number of new teachers needed in sub-Saharan Africa alone equals the current teaching force in the region (United Nations 2010).

According to the United Nations (2010) many countries educating girls is widely perceived as being of less value than educating boys which now brings me to the whether Africa will reach gender parity at all levels of education by 2015.

According to the African Development Bank Group (2009) the continent continues to make progress toward gender equality and empowerment of women, the African development Bank Group stated the girls' primary school enrolment rate outstripped that of boys between 2000 and 2006 however despite these gains, girls still account for 55 percent of the out-of-school population in the region further more it was found that In 2008, there were 96 girls for every 100 boys enrolled in primary school (United Nations 2010).

According to the United Nations (2010) in Secondary Education 95 girls for every 100 boys enrolled in secondary school. In 1999, the ratios were 91:100 and 88:100 for the two levels of education, respectively. Despite this progress, gender parity in primary and secondary education-a target that was to be met by 2005-is still out of reach for many developing regions (United Nations 2010), therefore most African countries have yet to achieve gender parity in secondary education, nearly four years after the target date of 2005. Only 11 countries have achieved this target (African Development Bank Group 2009). According to the African Development Bank Group (2009) even though places such as Lesotho and Namibia had more girls enrolled in secondary schools than boys it is highly unlikely that African countries will reach the target of gender parity in secondary education by 2015, if current trends continue, however ten countries have a gender parity in secondary education.

According to the African Development Bank Group (2009) the progress towards gender parity in tertiary education is also slow and only eight African countries have achieved gender parity in tertiary education. In sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia, for example, only 67 and 76 girls per 100 boys, respectively, are enrolled in tertiary levels of education (United nations 2010) and thus many African countries have reported progress in gender parity in respect to adult literacy, in 2007 eight countries reported the target as achieved (African Development Bank Group 2009).

The African Development Bank Group (2009) say that with the increase in woman in tertiary education men's social and economic positions are threatened, therefore young men are retreating into traditional and religious institutions that shore up their positions and authority. This is resulting in increasing violence against women and on occasion, to religious and other ethnic conflicts in society (African Development Bank Group 2009). Consequently, in order to safeguard the advancement of women's empowerment, a set of policies should also be introduced to ensure that male educational and employment opportunities are not significantly eroded in the process (African Development Bank Group 2009). According to the United Nations (2010) women do represent a large share of waged workers; however it does not mean that they have secure, decent jobs. In fact, women are typically paid less and have less secure employment than men.

Therefore in conclusion I feel that Africa will not reach the global goal of universal primary education and gender parity at all levels of education due to the goals having a target of ensuring that by 2015 children everywhere boys and girls alike will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling and to eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005 and in all levels of education no later than 2015 (United Nations 2010).

Already according to the United Nations (2010) most African countries have yet to achieve gender parity in secondary education, nearly four years after the target date of 2005 and that many learners leave school before reaching their final year in the primary education sector and many of them being girls. This results in less girl learners reaching secondary and tertiary education which causes then the gender issue within the secondary and tertiary levels of education.

Therefore for Africa to reach these goals by the allocated time they need to start taking drastic measures and focus on creating schooling opportunities for the poor and unless this occurs we will not reach these goals.

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