An obsession with primary education has backfiredby Clare Lockhart / November 14, 2012 / Leave a comment
Published in December 2012 issue of Prospect Magazine
Classes at the Behzad Gallery, Herat, Afghanistan (photo: AFP/Getty Images)
Since the launch of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) over a decade ago, education gurus, ministers and aid officials have worked to get every child in the world into primary school. This focus has come at a price. The neglect of secondary and vocational training has translated into millions of people unequipped to participate in the work force. As a consequence, young peoples’ expectations do not match economic reality, leaving them marginalised and unemployed, and societies without the human capital necessary to sustain their own development. This has created a gap in the global agenda. With the MDGs’ term expiring, a revised approach is urgently needed.