Part 2: Issues in Sustainable Development



Education is the key to development on a national level and to improvement in income and opportunities for individuals. Universal access and attendance at even primary school has not been achieved in Africa. Particular challenges are increasing attendance by girls and increasing attendance in rural areas in addition to the quality and relevance of teaching resources/materials.

Main Idea

Barriers to the provision of education

Key Concepts

      • Education for sustainable development
      • Education agenda (science and technology, mathematics, research, curriculum reforms)
      • Factors affecting school enrollment and quality of education provision
      • Importance of gender equity in education enrollment


Knowledge of

      • educational development indicators (early childhood, universal primary, gender parity, quality, etc.)
      • factors affecting school enrollment
      • importance of girls education

Ability to

      • describe enrollment inducement strategies, such as a school feeding program, and their impact on personal well-being and the multiple community sustainability goals such programs support

Core Readings

  1. Free and Compulsory Primary Education for All
    Simple summary of role of primary education, difficulties in achieving universal primary education, and statistics on progress (3 pages)
  2. Millennium Development Goals in Africa (pages 8-11)
    Statistics and analysis of progress in Africa during 1990s (4 pages)
  3. Power of Girls Education
    Variety of reasons that girls’ education has extra benefits for development
    (3 pages)
  4. Rural Education and Poverty
    Describes importance of education for development in rural areas
    (2 pages)
  5. United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development
    Education for Sustainable Development as the educational process of achieving the “three pillars of human development” (1 page)
  6. Education for All 2006 - Executive Summary
    Report stressing the urgency of devoting increased policy attention and resources to education – especially literacy - and identifying the benefits (8 pages)

Sustainability Strategies

  1. Food Keeps African Children in School
    Description of school feeding program in Senegal (3 pages)
  2. School Feeding Program
    Detailed report on the benefits of school feeding, lessons learned, and best practices (12 pages)

Supplemental Readings

  1. Literacy Fact Sheet
    Statistics on gender gap in literacy (2 pages)
  2. Education Policy and Practice
    Detailed discussion of elements of a successful literacy program with case study examples (25 pages)
  3. Literacy
    Discussion of importance of literacy (8 pages)
  4. World Education Forum
    Framework for Action adopted at 2000 Forum in Dakar: goals include increased female attendance, integrating HIV/AIDS education, improved learning environments, and enhanced professionalism of teachers (9 pages)
  5. Africa and the Millennium Development Goals 2007 Update
    Review and assessment of the progress, challenges and opportunities in Africa for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (4 pages)

Assignment Questions

  1. Education: What are some reasons that children are unable to attend school?
  2. Education: Find three reasons why increasing educational attainment for girls is considered particularly important.