6 Achieve universal primary education

Where we are

The region has met MDG 2 by making primary education compulsory. Photo: UNDP

Since the globally agreed target for this Goal is the achievement of universal primary education, the Caribbean has met this Goal. 

Notwithstanding, maximizing opportunities for, and participation in, education at the secondary and tertiary levels is critical to the full realization of the overarching poverty reduction objective. Educational attainment impacts Goal 1 through the achievement and sustainability of reduced levels of poverty. 

The proportion of students completing the final grade of primary education has exceeded 90% for most Caribbean countries. The exceptions were Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Suriname, with the latter country citing internal efficiency issues and strife in the interior as the main impediments.

Given the infrequency of measuring literacy, there are no adequate data recorded for this indicator.  Literacy is assessed only through censuses, so that there is a need for inter-census literacy surveys and strengthening of administrative data to facilitate assessment.  In addition, literacy measurement should include the assessment of computer literacy.

Source: Caribbean Millennium Development Goals Report 2010

Targets for MDG2
  1. Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling
    • Net enrolment ratio in primary education
    • Proportion of pupils starting grade 1 who reach last grade of primary
    • Literacy rate of 15-24 year-olds, women and men