Education provides options to people with regard to the kind of life they want to live; it allows them to express themselves with confidence in their personal relationships, within the community and at work. However, there are 61 million school-aged children who, due to their not being able to attend school, are deprived of exercising that human right. They are mostly children from poor families whose mothers have often not received any formal education either.

This loss of potential does not only affect children. Education, especially girls’ education has social and economic benefits for all the society. Women who have received education have access to more economic opportunities and participate more actively in public life. When they are mothers, they tend to have fewer but healthier children, who will be more likely to attend school.

To achieve the second Millennium Development Goal it is necessary to intensify the efforts in this regard in Sub-Saharan Africa, Southern Asia andOceania. In these regions, as in the rest of the world, the increase in school enrolment must be accompanied by activities to ensure that no children leave school and they all receive high quality education.

Education is not just another goal but an essential condition for the fulfilment of all the other MDGs, it is a key factor to overcome poverty and to consolidate democratic systems.

Due to all this we understand that the slogan of this year’s solidarity campaign, “EDUCATION MULTIPLIES THE FUTURE”, is now as valid as it was in 16th CenturyRome, when Calasanz opened the first free public school inEuropein Saint Dorothy Parish.

To find out more about the reality of this goal in the world click on “Achieve universal primary education”