Today is International Literacy Day. It hasn’t been highlighted to much by the UN itself. However, the UN still stays committed to Goal No 2 of its Millennium Development Goals, according to which the States of the UN ensure that, by the year 2015, “children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling and that girls and boys will have equal access to all levels of education.” (See the Millennium Declaration in UNGA Res. 55/2.)
According to the Millennium Development Goals Report of 2007 the enrolment ratio in primary education in developing regions of the world was at 88 per cent in the year 2004/05, which is an increase from 80 per cent in 1990/91. And although this might seem as a considerable increase, in order to reach the Millennium Goal by 2015, the report itself acknowledges that “a strong push will be needed over the next few years”. Especially when considering that the needed infrastructure and/or resources are lacking in many developing countries, it seems unlikely that the 72 million children of primary school age who were not in school in 2005, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling.