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UNESCO Global Education Digest 2005 – Comparing Education Statistics Across the World

At the international level, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) is responsible for monitoring progress towards the education-related targets of the UN Millennium Task Force, as well as the broader set of Education for All (EFA) goals. This edition of the Global Education Digest provides data to inform progress towards the full range of international education targets.

The first section examines the global situation of participation in secondary education, focussing particularly on lower secondary. The second section analyses trends in access to secondary education since 1990. The third section explores the transition between primary and lower secondary education and provides forecasts of completion rates and entry rates into the secondary level. The final section assesses levels of gender disparity in primary and secondary education.

Many countries, including some of the poorest and least developed, are making real progress towards achieving the goals. But many others are slipping behind. The education gender parity target for 2005 will be missed in a number of countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. This Digest shows that, in 2002/03, 56% of the world’s primary school-age population still live in countries without gender parity. And at the upper secondary level, this increases to 87% of the relevant youth population. In many countries, girls are increasingly disadvantaged at higher levels of education.

The UN Millennium Task Force and many other groups argue that, in order to meet the goals, it is vital that secondary school enrolments are increased.

UNESCO Global Education Digest