Universal Literacy as a Catalyst for Achieving All MDG Goals Part 2 of 2: Barriers to literacy and educational strategies to accelerate progress.

Submitted by Linda Martin

Social and economic factors that restrict or deny access to education include gender bias, lack of schools, lack of trained teachers, demands on children’s time to work, drop-out rates, and fee based education which families cannot afford. Geography also plays a role. Per the Millennium Development Progress Report 2010 “household data from 42 countries also show that rural children are twice as likely to be out of school as children living in urban areas”. What can be done?  


Other suggestions include new school construction, teacher training, insuring schools are safe, and developing incentives for youth to stay in school through secondary level.

Washington State Organizations Making a Difference

A few of the many organizations in Washington state that support global literacy and education as a means of poverty alleviation include: All As One, which offers orphaned children in Sierra Leone a loving home, health care and education, Ayni Education International, which has built 18 new schools in Afghanistan and equipped 20 others, serving about 25,000 Afghan students; and Bahia Street, which ”breaks cycles of poverty and violence through quality education for impoverished girls and young women living in Salvador, Brazil”. For information on other Global Washington members, please refer to our directory of organizations.

Related Links

Education and the Millennium Development Goals

Progress for Children – Achieving the MDGs with Equity

Millennium Development Progress Report 2010

The Global Literacy Challenge

MDG Info 2010

MDG Data Wizard

United Nations Girls Education Initiative

UNICEF-Basic education and gender equality resources

UNESCO- The Global Literacy Challenge

UNESCO – Education

The State of the World’s Children 2009

Global Literacy Program, Inc.

Safe Schools – Amnesty International

Center for Global Development

International Reading Association Program

National Institute for Literacy