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Official MDG targets and indicators

Progress toward the UN Millennium Development Goals is monitored with an official list of MDG indicators. These indicators are endorsed by the Inter-Agency and Expert Group (IAEG) on MDG Indicators, whose work is coordinated by the United Nations Statistics Division. At its last meeting in November 2007, the IAEG agreed on a revised set of MDG indicators that will be used for the next global assessment of progress in 2008. In the area of education, the following goals and indicators are now in effect.

Millennium Development Goals and indicators related to education
Goals and targets Indicators for monitoring progress
Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education
Target 2.A: Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling. 2.1 Net enrolment ratio in primary education.
2.2 Proportion of pupils starting grade 1 who reach last grade of primary.
2.3 Literacy rate of 15-24 year-olds, women and men.
Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
Target 3.A: Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education no later than 2015. 3.1 Ratios of girls to boys in primary, secondary and tertiary education.
Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
Target 6.A: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of
6.4 Ratio of school attendance of orphans to school attendance of non-orphans aged 10-14 years.

Most of these indicators are unchanged, with one exception. The survival rate to the last grade of primary school (indicator 2.2) replaces the survival rate to grade 5 of primary school that was previously used as one of the indicators for MDG 2, universal primary education by 2015. The survival rate to the last grade is a better indicator for this goal than the survival rate to grade 5. First, the survival rate to grade 5 is not relevant in countries where primary school has only four grades and for such countries the UNESCO Institute for Statistics does not provide estimates for this indicator. Second, the survival rate to grade 5 offers no information on continued school attendance in countries where primary school has more than five grades. Estimates of the survival rate to grade 5 can therefore provide an incomplete picture of progress toward universal primary education. In contrast, the survival rate to the last grade can be used in all countries, regardless of the official duration of primary school.

The complete list of indicators is available at the official UN site for the MDG indicators.

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Friedrich Huebler, 4 February 2008 (edited 17 October 2008), Creative Commons License
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