World Fails to Reach 2015 Educational Targets

May 28, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. quality / ˈkwɒl ɪ ti / (adj.) – being excellent or superior
Example: The university is known for its quality education.

2. opportunity / ˌɒp ərˈtu nɪ ti / (n.) – a chance to do something
Example: Kate had the opportunity to study abroad.

3. universal / ˌyu nəˈvɜr səl / (adj.) – can be experienced by all
Example: The country hopes to provide universal basic education to its citizens.

4. illiteracy / ɪˈlɪt ər ə si / (n.) – the quality of not being able to read and write
ExampleIlliteracy can hinder you from getting a good job.

5. sufficient / səˈfɪʃ ənt / (adj.) – enough or providing the amount needed
Example: The budget is not sufficient for the program.


Read the text below.
Most nations have failed to meet the Education for All (EFA) targets, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) reported.

The EFA movement is a global commitment to provide quality basic education for everyone all over the world. During the 2000 World Education Forum in Senegal, 164 nations pledged to accomplish six education goals by 2015. These goals were directed towards expanding early childhood care and education, providing primary education to all, and promoting equal educational opportunities regardless of gender and economic status. It also involved reducing adult illiteracy and improving the quality of education.

Although most countries found the goals attainable during the forum, only one third of the countries were able to reach the goals in 2015. The report found that 52% of the countries gained universal primary education, while 47% of the countries managed to expand early childhood care and education.

About 69% of the countries achieved good gender ratio in primary schools and 48% in secondary schools. The student-teacher ratio also increased in 75% of the countries. However, only 25% of the countries were able to reduce adult illiteracy, while only 46% were able to provide equal access to learning.

This unmet goal can be attributed to several factors. These include lack of funding, poverty, corruption, and the increasing population of the countries involved. Nonetheless, Kailash Satyarthi [key-LASH sat-YAR-ti], an Indian human rights activist, says that there are ways to help countries successfully improve their education. Among these measures are securing a sufficient budget for education, having enough qualified teachers, and not asking students to pay for school-related fees.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think the EFA targets were achievable? Why is that so?
·         Aside from those mentioned in the article, how else can education be improved?

Discussion B

·         What, for you, is the importance of education? Please explain your answer.
·         Given the chance, how would you improve the education system of your country?

May 28, 2015