This last week I have been participating in an online forum run by UNESCO and IIEP (the International Institute for Educational Planning) on gender equality in education. It is very easy to sign up for online conferences and then never be able to prioritise the time the engage- it embarrasses me to say that I have done that more than once. But I have managed to make to time to engage with this forum. It is to easy to forget the state of education for most of the world’s population when you spend your time working with the relatively privileged in a highly developed region of the world.
One of the targets of the Millennium Development goals of 2000 was: Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education no later than 2015. The UNESCO World Atlas of Equality in Education using data for 2009, concludes that 56% of the world’s population of primary school children live in countries that have gender parity at primary level, only 29% at lower secondary level and only 15% at upper secondary level. These equity measures are in a global context where only about three quarters of the world’s population of primary school children live on countries with universal primary education. Once in education many children don’t stay of long. Only 87% of girls and 90% of boys completed their primary education. At secondary level girls’ enrolment has been catching up with boys; 67% and 69%, which is good news, but not news equally spread across all countries.
I woke in the middle of the night last night wondering if it was time to change my job and spend my money differently. But his morning I am afraid I turned back into in an academic and went back online.