Latest Issue

The UN’s own goal

An obsession with primary education has backfired

By Clare Lockhart   December 2012

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…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect