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Promoting access to quality, safe, and relevant education for all persons affected by crisis

Thematic Paper on MDG 1: Achieve Universal Primary Education

Global Initiatives (SDG, ECW, EFA, etc.)
Resource Type
Report, Research Publication
UNDG Task Force on the MDGs
Publish Date


Filename File Size
UNDG_2010_Thematic_paper_on_MDG2 1 MB Download


A completed primary education is a basic human right and is necessary for enjoying many other rights. It is transformative and empowering, and a means for accessing broad economic, social, political and cultural benefits. Primary education is a powerful driver for realizing all of the MDGs and for sustainable development more generally.

MDG2 – providing a full course of primary schooling for everyone in every country – will not be attained everywhere by the target date of 2015. However, significant achievements in expanding access to schooling have been made in many countries during the past decade. For instance, enrolments in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) increased by 51 per cent between 1999 and 2007 and the net enrolment rate in South and West Asia (SWA) had reached 84 per cent by 2007. The global number of primary school-aged children not in school fell during the period by 33 million.