Pupils in a primary school in northern Vietnam.
Photo: Simone D. McCourtie/World Bank
During the past decade, the number of children starting school has significantly increased in Sida's partner countries. At the same time, studies show that many children do not complete their education and that their level of knowledge is low. Investing in education is important for children and youth in low-, middle- and high-income countries.
Just over a half of Sida's development aid for education is allocated to basic education, to support the Millennium Development Goal 2 – education for all children and the Millennium Development Goal 3 – increased gender equality. If one includes all initiatives aimed at developing educational policies and administration, then 70 per cent of development aid aims at giving all children the opportunity to go to school.
The fact that far more children start school today compared with 15 years ago is positive, but one problem is that many don’t complete primary school or even learn basic skills such as reading and writing. A continued focus on teachers, information and communication technologies as well as vulnerable groups of children and youth is therefore one of Sida’s top priorities in order to promote values, knowledge and skills that contribute to sustainable development. Higher education is also becoming an increasingly more important part of these efforts.