Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello T.D. launches global education report
Minister for Trade and Development, Joe Costello, T.D., today launched the Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2012, which shows that millions more children are now accessing quality education in the developing world.
Speaking at the launch in the INTO Learning Centre in Dublin today, Minister Costello said:
“Globally, the number of children in school has risen from 61 million in 1999 to 108 million today. Significantly, the number of girls accessing primary school has dramatically increased in most countries. This progress will have far-reaching consequences in terms of increasing the health and employment prospects for these children and their families in the decades ahead.
“Ireland recognises the pivotal role which education plays in empowering communities, increasing economic productivity and improving gender and income equality.
“To this end, we work with governments in our partner countries to build the infrastructure and skills needed to improve national education systems. At a global level, Ireland supports the implementation of education plans in countries which are emerging from conflict or natural disasters and are desperately in need of assistance. We also fund partners such as Concern and Plan Ireland to improve access to education for disabled children, for education in fragile states and to improve gender equality in schools.”
However, while he welcomed the progress, Minister Costello encouraged all partners to refocus their efforts in the lead-up to the deadline for achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, noting that the report also showed that the goal of primary education for all by 2015 is unlikely to be achieved. He also underscored the importance of teaching vocational skills:
“This report, the events of the past two years in North Africa and global statistics on youth unemployment all remind us that simply completing primary or even secondary education does not mean that one is equipped for work and life in today’s world. Significant focus needs to be placed on promoting learning and life skills in schools and also on vocational training.”
Minister Costello welcomed the involvement of Google, Intel and Apple in the global education sector, noting that such collaboration can deliver substantial improvements in access to education and skills.