Achieving Universal Primary Education in Africa

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I. BACKGROUND Most countries in Africa spend a vast amount of their Gross domestic product (GDP) on military and defense (Takhal, 2012). However, education is the greatest investment for success in a world that has become progressively more interdependent and interconnected through commerce, political, and social issues. It would be detrimental to Africa to remain solely focused on strengthening their military capability while devaluing access to universal primary education (Takhal, 2012). Africa’s greatest resource is their youth and they can achieve so much if they have access to universal primary education that is supported through secondary and post-secondary education. More than half of Africa’s population is under the age of thirty (Takhal, 2012). In Sub-Saharan Africa, 47% of the overall population is under the age of fifteen with an expected increase of five to fourteen year-olds by more than thirty-four percent over the next twenty years (Takhal, 2012). According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), most countries in sub-Saharan Africa spend ten times more on university students than primary school students (Takhal, 2012). With this disproportionate allocation of educational expenditures it is no shock that there are millions of primary school-age children out of school (Watkins, 2013). In 1990, the Conference on Education for All, held in Jomtien, Thailand, vowed to reach universal primary education by the year 2000 (Henock Kifle, Mohammed Hussain, Hailu Mekonnen, 2002). However, as of 1999 there were approximately 120 million primary school-age children still not in school, with the majority in Sub-Saharan Africa (Henock Kifle, Mohammed Hussain, Hailu Mekonnen, 2002). The Mi... ... middle of paper ... ...rom Education: a crucial step towards peace in Central African Republic: Henock Kifle, Mohammed Hussain, Hailu Mekonnen. (2002, June). Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Africa. Retrieved from Global Poverty Report 2002: Takhal, A. (2012, March 21). Africa Must Invest its Primary Education Sector. Retrieved from Horseed Media: UNICEF. (2013, October 18). UNICEF. Retrieved from Central African republic: Seventy percent of school children still not in classrooms: UnitedNations. (2008, September 25). End Poverty 2015 Millennium Development Goals. Retrieved from United Nations: Watkins, K. (2013, January 16). Too Little Access, Not Enough Learning: Africa's Twin Deficit in Education. Retrieved from Brookings:
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