Post-2015 education framework: Net enrolment

Following mounting pressure and 2015 being just around the corner, the Global Campaign for Education has released its framework for the education sustainable development goal (SDG). The SDG’s have been proposed as a continuation/improvement on the flawed Millennium Development 2 (MDG2) and Education for All goals. The SDG framework for education post-2015 addresses some of the issues found in MDG2 but is not without its flaws. This blog series will seek to break down the proposed framework.

Net enrolment still being used as a target: Perhaps the most discussed and criticised indicator of MDG2 was its use of net enrolment into a course of basic education for all children globally as an indicator of success. We have seen time and time again that enrolment is not indicative of learning. While there are 57 million children globally out of education, 250 million cannot read or write, that means that there are almost 200 million children who are enrolled but are not learning.

The GCE has once again incorporated net enrolment into the SDG for education. Specifically, for all children globally to be enrolled in education by 2020. Beyond the aforementioned issues of using net enrolment as a target, it simply seems unfeasible to reach universal enrolment by 2020. When the MDGs were established in 2000, 102 million children were out of education, in 2011, 57 million remained out of education. While this may seem like significant progress, it is not representative of the entire world. The majority of this enrolment has been in Asia, specifically China and India while in Nigeria, 4.7 million children are still out of education.

With this in mind, it seems very unlikely that progress toward universal enrolment will continue at the same rate as it did for the first 11 years of MDG2. The unrealistic targets that continually keep being set for global education seem to act as more of a hindrance than as an impetus for action.

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