Much progress has been made in the field of global education since the launch of the Millennium Development Goals in 2000. Literacy rates in developing countries are rising steadily for both adults and youth, and in primary education, in particular, enrollment is at 91 percent while gender parity has also almost been achieved.
Despite these advances, however, there is still much work to be done. More than 100 million young people — 60 percent of whom are women — still lack basic literacy skills, and 57 million children — more than half of whom live in sub-Saharan Africa — remain unenrolled.
Moreover, the proportion of out of school children in areas devastated by armed conflict and other emergencies is increasing. And while the enrollment numbers might be going up globally, these do not necessarily translate into students’ mastery of the knowledge and life skills needed for success. As a result, the era of the Sustainable Development Goals has put a renewed focus on education quality, instead of mere access.
The field of global education is quite broad, composed of several stakeholders all dedicated to developing effective and sustainable education systems in the poorest and most vulnerable countries. The sector employs a wide range of development professionals — from teachers and educators to policy analysts, researchers and information technology experts — to work in various capacities for government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, consulting firms, multilateral and bilateral donors, universities and think tanks.