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The State of the World's Children 2004

The acceleration strategy: 25 by 2005

© UNICEF/2003/Sheikh
If specific attention is not paid to the needs of girls such as these two from Nepal, universal primary education will be unattainable.

If the Millennium Development Goal of gender parity in primary and secondary education is to be met by 2005, heroic efforts must be made. To help reach this goal, UNICEF has initiated 25 by 2005 to assist 25 countries judged to be at most risk of failing to achieve it –10 that have more than a million girls out of school, 8 with a net enrolment rate for girls of less than 40 per cent and 13 that have a gender gap higher than 10 per cent.

UNICEF’s goal is to get country leaders on board to ensure that girls’ education is seen as an urgent national priority. Additionally, UNICEF country offices will be proactive in reaching out-of-school girls, providing schooling for them on an emergency basis and developing intensive interventions that are results based.

There are rich and wide-range measures that can be adopted and adapted:

  • Operating double shifts in existing schools
  • Making small rural schools viable through multigrade teaching
  • Opening schools in tents and under trees
  • Using ‘school-in-a-box’ kits developed by UNICEF for use in emergencies
  • Expanding, improving and winning official recognition for non-formal schooling
  • Providing mobile schools for remote rural populations and transient or nomadic groups.

In supporting these 25 countries, UNICEF is walking the distance with them and where necessary going that extra mile.



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