Education is another sector in which the G8 committed to work with African governments towards a lofty but achievable goal - to ensure that all children complete a full course of primary schooling. No specific financing targets were committed to in 2005 by G8 leaders, but DATA has tracked G8 progress using the best estimates available for the cost of achieving global universal primary education, and has found that the G8 collectively have not delivered their proportionate share of the resources needed to achieve this goal. Individually, only two countries (Canada and the UK) are on track with this commitment.
Dramatic gains have been made in primary education in Africa since the turn of the century. Some 29 million more children were attending school in 2005 than in 1999. This was due to greater prioritisation of education by African governments, savings from debt relief and targeted development assistance. But there are still 33 million children out of school, and demographic pressure will remain a challenge for the next decade, as the numbers of primary school-age children grow at a sustained rate. As enrolments increase, the quality of education for those attending school must also be improved.
50% The increased likelihood that a mother will immunise her child if she has a basic education.
The G8 committed to fully scaling up the Education For All Fast Track Initiative, but funding gaps remain for a number of endorsed African countries. Furthermore, the G8 must turn their attention to the even greater challenge of scaling up assistance to meet the needs of children living in fragile states. In addition, African countries will need to scale up their domestic resources, and other leading non-G8 donors, such as the Netherlands, will have to continue their leadership by filling the remaining financing gap.