With the focus on Sub-Saharan Africa, the authors analyse the causes of the decline in primary school enrolment and the practical ways in which this can change. To date, this area has the lowest primary enrolments of any major region in the developing world and the number of children out of school is increasing faster in SSA than elsewhere. At present they comprise about 35 per cent of the world's total, but African children will account for more than half of those not enrolled by the year 2010. A majority of them are girls. This is a timely study when the Millennium Development Goals, adopted by the international community to tackle problems of poverty in developing countries by the year 2015, have identified universal participation and gender equality in primary schooling as major goals. This comprehensive book incorporates the results of research conducted at both macro and micro levels, using a range of methodologies. In order to explain national differences in school enrolments, the authors begin by focuses upon regional and international comparisons, using both cross-section and household survey data for a large number of countries, including those outside SSA. The book then moves on to examine the causes of under-enrolment in a more micro context, utilising results from a major international research programme on gender and primary schooling in Africa. This has comprised a set of country studies, using the same research methodology. Nine countries in SSA - Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Malawi, Mali, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia - have been included over the past five years, since 1998. The causes of past performance and new strategies for educational expansion and reform are examined for each of these cases. Later chapters examine the disappointing aid record for education during the 1990s. The challenges for international aid to provide resources and help secure reforms in support of the international development goals in education are also outlined.