In 2000, world leaders through the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals made
concrete commitments to ensure that every child was in school and learning by 2015.
However, by the end of 2015, about 17% of children of official primary school ages were still
out of school. With one-in- three children still out of school, progress towards universal
primary education has stalled. Meanwhile, learning levels among children who are in school are
Despite the gains made towards increased access to education at all levels, increased enrolment
rates of up to 91% in primary schools particularly for women and girls and increased basic
literacy, yet 57 million children are still not in school and learning with more than half of them
living in Sub Sahara Africa. Much work is still needed to achieve universal education for all.
Education improves lives, livelihoods and fosters sustainable development – it is for this reason
that SDG4 of the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals calls for every country, both
developed and developing countries to “Ensure Inclusive and quality education for all and
promote lifelong learning”.