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Education spending

MDG Target 2This analysis is based on the latest trends analysis of GSW data in the GSW 2015 report

MDG target 2.A commits that, by 2015, children everywhere will complete a full course of primary schooling. In 2000, the Dakar Framework for Education For All (EFA) also set out six goals, and a broad commitment to ensuring quality education for all. Progress has been patchy. There have been huge strides in getting children into primary school; some improvements in youth literacy; a narrowing of gender gaps; and more children than ever completing basic education. But 58 million children are still missing out on primary school, expansion of access to primary education has been slowing, the global early school-primary leaving rate (25%) is the same as in 2000, and (due to insufficient focus on quality), many children end basic education without basic literacy and numeracy.

What does the latest GSW data on education show?

  • Only 19% of countries are meeting the EFA target to spend 6% of GDP on education and 22% of countries are meeting EFA targets of 20% of total budget on education.
  • Education is the best overall sector for trends on MDG spending as it has seen the most upwards movement (albeit against a miserable set of progress in other sectors and/or sector spending shrinking), and has the most countries meeting one or both of the international spending targets. So thee other (relatively) positive story is that average spending is 80% of the target and most countries are increasing spending.
  • Education is closest to reaching its MDG targets, but the SDGs’ lifelong high-quality learning agenda will require US$161 billion more.
    • To read more about the education sector findings in the GSW 2015 report herepdf.
    • To see what explains these trends, by understanding the financing behind them, including donor aid performance, click herepdf.
    • To see how accessible data are for this sector, click herepdf.