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Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education

Continuing my look at the Millennium Development Goals, here the second:

Goal 2:  Achieve universal primary education

If you were required to be at school until you were 15 or 16 it does not seem much to ask that all children in the world should be able to complete at least their primary education.

One of the indicators for success on this goal is the literacy rate for 15 – 24 year-olds, women and men.  Being literate means that you are able to get access to writings in books, newspapers, magazines and electronic media such as the internet.  It means that you can communicate your experiences and ideas, maybe write a blog such as this   Being literate means that you are better able to understand your rights and to stand up for them.

Paulo Friere, a Brazilian, wrote a book called Pedagogy of the Oppressed. It is ages ago that I read some of it so I should take another look if I can find a copy.  He saw teaching people to read as an important move in giving more power to oppressed people.    

Apart from allowing children to become readers there are many other skills that might be developed in primary schools.  The curriculum in a school in Tanzania in Africa is likely to be different from that in the UK.  It would be interesting to hear from anyone in poorer parts of the world about what they learned at school or what they would like their children to learn, for a brighter future with less poverty more respect for human rights. 

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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