Global literacy targets already off track – Unesco

Promises by world leaders to raise global education standards by 2030 are unlikely to be kept, warns the United Nations’ education agency. Unesco says based on current trends, 30% of adults and 20% of young people will still be illiterate in poor countries.

This seems typical of many promises made at international conferences that simply are not kept by world governments. It is extremely easy to state a commitment to a noble goal and then simply ignore the goal once the headline has been published. The report points to inequalities in access such as barriers to girls and those living in rural communities. Another issue raised is the lack of trained teachers.

This is the latest in a series of missed education targets after high-profile international pledges – despite education being seen as important for improving health and prosperity in poorer countries and preventing extremism.

One hopes that more can be done to bring the goal of providing education to all young people. As in the words of Nelson Mandela: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

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