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Dr. Wale Idris Ajibade - Interfaith Dialogue: Organized by Guru Dileepji (Dileepkumar Thankappan)

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African Views technical, scientific, and cultural research, analysis, reports, and public engagement on Education

MDG 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education Enrolment in primary education in developing regions reached 89 per cent in 2008, up from 83 per cent in 2000.The current pace of progress is insufficient to meet the target by 2015. About 69 million school-age children are not in school. Almost half of them (31 million) are in sub-Saharan Africa, and more than a quarter (18 million) are in Southern Asia. Despite great strides in many countries, the target is unlikely to be met. Enrolment in primary education has continued to rise, reaching 89 per cent in the developing world in 2008. Between 1999 and 2008, enrolment increased by 18 percentage points in sub-Saharan Africa, and by 11 and 8 percentage points in Southern Asia and Northern Africa, respectively. But the pace of progress is insufficient to ensure that, by 2015, all girls and boys complete a full course of primary schooling. To achieve the goal by the target date, all children at official entry age for primary schooling would have had to be attending classes by 2009. Instead, in half of the sub-Saharan African countries with available data, at least one in four children of enrolment age was not attending school in 2008. About 69 million school-age children were not going to school in 2008, down from 106 million children in 1999 .Almost three-quarters of children out of school are in sub- Saharan Africa (31 million) or Southern Asia (18 million). Drop-out rates in sub-Saharan Africa remain high. Achieving universal primary education requires more than full enrolment. It also means ensuring that children continue to attend classes. In sub-Saharan Africa, more than 30 per cent of primary school students drop out before reaching a final grade ."( source: United Nations)
State of Schools and college education in African Countries The World Bank/UNESCO Task Force on Higher Education and Society produced a report on the state of higher education in developing countries throughout the world, decrying the lack of facilities and outmoded curricula. The report also concluded the investment in primary and secondary education had naturally fuelled demand for higher education as well. Eight out of the top ten Universities in Africa are from South Africa; the other two are University of Cairo and Makerere University in Uganda. The highest rated University, the University of Cape Town, ranks 324th in the world in 2011. University enrollment rates in sub-Saharan Africa are among the lowest in the world, averaging 5%. Some students described steep attrition in their departments or universities: 85% loss from mathematics in Madagascar, more than 95% loss from mathematics in the Central African Republic, 75% in Niger, 60% in Uganda. These rates are not likely representative of the continent as a whole but they suggest high dropout rates in many countries. A third of all sub-Saharan university students (1 million) are in Nigeria, the most populous African country and one with a 10% tertiary enrollment rate. Students from Nigeria describe dropout rates there as low: one estimated 5%, others wrote that rates were "low" or that "most students tend to graduate". The next-most significant sub-Saharan country for tertiary education is South Africa, with 500,000 students. South Africa has a 50% dropout rate (reported by the education minister Nailed Pandor in 2006). Ethiopia, the second-most populous African country, contributes another 150,000 tertiary students. Readmore on