2. Achieve universal primary education
Population Council research has shown that in Pakistan, experiencing the birth of an “unwanted” sibling (for girls) and living in a household that experiences a sudden loss in income (for boys) are two factors that increase the likelihood of school dropout. Photo: Population Council
- Ensure that all boys and girls complete a full course of primary schooling
The universal right to education has been affirmed by the world’s governments for more than 50 years, and in 2000 by the Millennium Development Goals. However, some 115 million children—among them 62 million girls—are still denied this right. According to data from UNICEF, outside of the developed world only 76 percent of all boys and 70 percent of all girls attend primary school. More years of schooling have been associated with many positive outcomes, including later ages of marriage, lower fertility, and healthier and better-educated children. Much less is known about the implications of variations in the quality of schooling for various reproductive outcomes.
In recent years, the Population Council’s program of research on transitions to adulthood has given special attention to schooling. Council research on schooling explores school factors affecting enrollment and retention decisions, in particular school access and various aspects of school quality. A particular focus is gender differences in school experiences, including teacher attitudes about the capabilities of boys and girls and differential classroom dynamics. Council research has also explored which aspects of schooling, including the implementation and quality of life-skills programs, may be associated with later sexual initiation and more responsible sexual behavior.
Read more about the Population Council's research and programs on schooling.
- Ishraq: Bringing Marginalized Rural Girls into Safe Learning Spaces in Upper Egypt (2001–ongoing)
- Berhane Hewan: Supporting Married and Unmarried Girls in Rural Ethiopia (2004–2008)
- Abriendo Oportunidades: Creating Opportunities for Mayan Girls and Young Women (2002–ongoing)
- Malawi Schooling and Adolescent Study (2007–2015)