Mrs C.Celliers

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Problems in formal education may prevent the achievement of two important Millennium Development Goals namely: universal primary education and gender equality.

➢ Describe the importance of these two goals.
➢ Describe how the pupil explosion and inequalities in education may prevent African countries from achieving these two goals by 2015. Use practical examples in your discussion.

Table of Contents:

1. Introduction

2. The purpose and link between Millennium Development Goal 2 and Millennium Development Goal 3

3. Pupil explosion explained

4. Impact of pupil explosion identified and discussed

4.1 Teacher-pupil ratio
4.2Physical facilities
4.3Drop-out and failure rates
4.4Finances

5. Inequalities in education discussed with reference to African countries

1. Inequalities between countries
2. Inequalities between regions in the same country 3. Urban-rural inequalities
4. Inequalities between ethnic groups within the same country 5. Inequalities between education and other sectors 6. Gender inequalities

6. Conclusion

7. Bibliography

1. Introduction

The year 2000 brought about the Dakar conference in Senegal to determine the progress that countries were making in education towards achieving the goal, “education for all” (EFA). In that same year the international community agreed upon a number of millennium development goals, two of these goals focus on education. Poverty is a key factor influencing the attainment of these goals, and this is clearly evident in African countries. Education is a reflection of a society; it is shaped and influenced by the social conditions in the country, as well as the economic and political conditions.

It is good to make mention of the progress that is being made in education, especially in South Africa and the many projects within communities that work tirelessly to improve the lives of children and influence their future. One such project is God Cares International. Their pilot project was launched in Syferfontein, an informal settlement built on a rubbish dump in George. Their aim is to improve the literacy levels of children and parents. Armed with the skills of a multi-disciplinary team that includes teachers, physiotherapists and an audiologist, house visits and screening of residents have already begun. This is to ascertain the needs of different households and where interventions of varying kinds are necessary.

But this is just a drop in the ocean of inequality. In this essay we will look at some of these inequalities and the reasons for the slow progress towards the idealist’s dream (EFA).

2. The purpose and link between Millennium Development Goal 2 and Millennium Development Goal 3

Millennium Development Goal 2:Achieve universal primary education (UPE) i.e. ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling.

Millennium Development Goal 3:Promote gender equality and empower women i.e. eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and in all levels by 2015.

These goals provide world leaders and the development community with clear outlines and targets. These targets are linked to a specific time frame. Each country has to take responsibility for the policies and process needed to realize these goals.

Universal primary education and gender equality are linked due to the fact that in many Third World countries girls are still disadvantaged when it comes to education. Education is vital in raising individual productivity. A basic education empowers people to adapt to new technologies and production practices. In Third World countries where families are large, parents prefer to invest in the sons even though the returns on woman’s...
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