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Monday, 21 February 2011

EU Development Assistance for Basic Education in Sub-Saharan Africa

EU assistance achieved some of the expected improvements in basic education in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, but less than intended, according to a special report published last week by the European Court of Auditors. Through the Education for All movement and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) the EU and the international donor community at large have committed themselves to support developing countries to achieve a multitude of objectives, including ensuring primary education for all children, eliminating gender inequalities and improving education quality. The Court’s audit assessed whether EU development assistance in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia has helped achieve these three objectives and to what extent shortcomings in the European Commission’s management can explain the shortcomings in the results observed. The Court concludes that, overall, significant progress has been made, although only 45 % of the targets in the audited financing agreements were fully achieved. For the goal of ensuring primary education for all children (MDG 2), only some of the intended improvements were achieved and progress has in general been too slow to ensure that targets for 2015 will be met. Most of the countries examined have registered progress in enrolment since 2000 but completion of the full cycle of primary education remains an issue for all of them. For the objective of eliminating gender inequalities in education (part of MDG 3), the EU’s interventions contributed to enabling the beneficiary countries to achieve some of the intended improvements. But significant inequalities persist within particular regions and social groups. For the third priority goal, improving education quality, few of the intended improvements were achieved.

Source: European Court of Auditors