Afghanistan not likely to have universal primary education by 2015, says UNESCO chief

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© UNESCO/Cynthia Guttman -UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, visits a high school chemistry class, Kabul, 18 May.

Despite the progress Afghanistan has made in providing education for children, the country is not likely to meet the Millennium Development Goal of achieving universal primary education by 2015.

This observation was made by Irina Bokova, the head of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) who wrapped up a visit to the country on Monday.

During her three-day visit, Ms. Bokova raised awareness of the importance of education for girls and spoke about the challenge of ensuring that every child gets a primary education.

"Well, unfortunately, I don't believe that Afghanistan will meet this Millennium Development Goal of having all kids in school, access to primary education. But I know also at the same and it has to be recognized that there has been enormous progress in ten years, starting out of only one million kids. Now there are eight million and this figure grows. The challenges, of course, are huge, lack of sufficient schools." (27")

Ms. Bokova said that during the visit, she had frank discussion with leaders about the challenges of educating girls who are attacked by extremists that oppose the education of women and girls.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1'06″

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