March 9, 2016

How long will it take to achieve universal primary and secondary education?

Written by GEM Report, UNESCO

Laughing children standing against a wall

This short GEM Report paper uses evidence from recent household surveys to project future trends in primary, lower secondary and upper secondary education completion rates in low and middle income countries. The results of this projection exercise indicate how long it is likely to take for universal completion to be achieved at each respective level of education for different groupings of countries. The analysis seeks to inform on-going discussions around the feasibility of achieving the currently proposed global education targets by 2030.

Neither universal lower secondary nor universal upper secondary will be reached by 2030 at recent rates of progress. For example, it is projected that across low and middle income countries, the lower secondary completion rate will be 76% in 2030, while a rate of 95% will only be achieved in the 2080s. Likewise, it is projected that across low and middle income countries, the upper secondary completion rate will be 50% in 2030, while a rate of 95% will not be achieved before the end of the century.

Read paper.