The international community currently faces an estimated $16 billion funding gap to meet the internationally agreed upon goal of Education for All by 2015. Because of this shortfall, 61 million children are out of school today, over half of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa alone, and 28% live in countries beset by conflict. And for many children who do make it to school, the education they receive is of such dismal quality that millions drop out before reaching the 5th grade every year. The result is 775 million adults around the world who lack basic literacy and numeracy skills, condemning them, and their families, to a life of poverty.
The fact is that our investment to date has yielded remarkable results, and we must capitalize on those results and build upon progress toward the EFA goals. In the last three years, the number of learners enrolled in U.S. government-supported primary schools has jumped from 24 million to 41 million, while the number of teachers and educators trained with U.S. support has risen 70 percent. In 2006 alone, more than 135 million children stepped into classrooms across the globe for the first time.
The Basic Education Coalition believes we must not lose this momentum. To that end, the Coalition works to expand U.S. support for basic education, raise awareness among members of the Administration and Congress of the effectiveness of foreign assistance, and advance key legislation on U.S. basic education assistance to ensure that every child has access to a quality education.
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