6 Achieve universal primary education

Where we are?


The achievement of this Goal is inconclusive due to the limited data available to assess progress. Sierra Leone is however making important progress in achieving Universal Primary Education with major increases in gross primary and secondary enrolment since the end of the conflict. However, significant effort is still required to simultaneously improve the quality of education as well as address the problem of high school dropout rates, particularly among girls reaching adolescence.

The Government of Sierra Leone introduced free primary education in 2003, which has had a marked positive impact on the enrolment levels of boys and girls, and has declared its commitment to achieving education for all by 2015. A number of policies and legislations have been passed to support these efforts, including the Education Act of 2004 and the Child Rights Act of 2007, making basic education compulsory.

In order to continue making progress towards the achievement of this Goal, the Government and its development partners will need to focus on meeting the major challenges of quality within Sierra Leone’s educational system by:

  • Increasing spending on education and decentralizing primary education to local government actors.
  • Ensuring the efficient use of resources, including the timely delivery of textbooks and materials.
  • Improving teachers’ conditions and terms of service, including salaries, and introducing results measurements.
  • Providing better pay for teachers in rural and remote locations.
  • Exploring incentives to ensure children, especially girls, enroll and stay in school until completion.


UNDP's work in Sierra Leone

  • Youth watching the One Day on Earth documentary, whose filming was contributed to by 95 UNDP Country Offices worldwide (UNDP/A.K. BAH)

    Sierra Leone joins thousands around the world to make film history

    Mr. Anthony Koroma, commissioner of the National Youth Commission, Sierra Leone, joined over 200 (mainly youths) representing secondary schools in Freetown, civil society organizations, environmental NGOmore

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