This is the inaugural event of the new Brookings Forum on Universal Education, which will host a series of ongoing panels to discuss the policy issues critical to promoting education for all children worldwide. This first forum will explore the benefits and challenges of creating a global initiative in basic education to get every child into school over the next 15 years.
Last year, the goal of achieving universal basic education by the year 2015 was re-affirmed at the World Education Forum in Dakar, Senegal, and adopted as one of seven International Development Goals prioritized by the international community.
Despite repeated global commitments, universal education remains an elusive target: 130 million children ages 6-11 remain out of school today, while another 150 million drop out before completing four years of basic education. Nearly two-thirds of those who never have the opportunity to attend school are female.
This Brookings Forum will explore whether a global compact among the developed and developing nations, and the key international agencies such as the World Bank, UNICEF and UNESCO, would be an effective way of coordinating and mobilizing resources to deliver universal education in the developing world.