Despite progress made since the start of the millennium to refocus efforts on education, progress in education has been slow and uneven with government commitments wavering. The current state of education is nothing short of a global crisis: 67 million children remain out of primary school and resource mobilization to reach the 2015 targets has fallen short by over $16 billion. Just as alarming, yet rarely discussed, are the hundreds of millions of children enrolled in school but not learning.
I sat with a group of village women under a tree in the compound of a government primary school. Most of the women had children who were enrolled in this school. Many of these mothers had never been to school themselves. But they were interested in talking about children’s education in general and their children’s education in particular. We discussed many issues. What kind of education were children getting? Was it good enough? Why was it not better? How had the school been in the past and what was it like now?