5 May 2011 : Column 17P


Thursday 5 May 2011


International Development

World education

The Petition of the constituents of Manchester Withington and others,

Declares that world leaders have promised that all children will have a primary education by 2015, but with only five years left to go there are still 72 million children missing out on an education completely.

The Petitioners therefore request the House of Commons to urge the Government to act quickly and decisively to ensure that the goal of all children obtaining a primary education by 2015 is indeed obtained.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Mr John Leech , Official Report, 20 July 2010; Vol. 514, c. 321.]


5 May 2011 : Column 18P

Observations from the Secretary of State for International Development:

Although good progress has been made over the past decade, with 47 million more children gaining access to education, it is a tragedy that, with just five years to go until 2015, 72 million primary aged children still do not have access to any education at all.

As laid out in “The Coalition: our programme for government”, the UK will prioritise increasing access to basic services, such as health and education, for the world’s poorest people.

I have recently initiated a review of all of the Department for International Development’s (DFID) aid programmes, including health and education, to ensure that we achieve maximum value for money and accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

DFID support to education is demonstrating results. In 2008-09 DFID funds supported some 5 million children in school, trained 100,000 teachers and built 12,000 classrooms.

It is clear that accelerated international action is needed to achieve the goal of universal primary education by 2015. At the forthcoming United Nations MDG review summit in September 2010, the UK will be pushing for a results orientated action plan to meet the MDGs, including those related to education.