It is true that more and more girls are studying in schools in even the poorest of countries.
But are they all really becoming literate ?
Unfortunately the answer is no.
In a new study on female literacy and years of schooling in 53 low-income countries the authors reported some startling findings.
In half of the countries with comparable data, the majority of adult women who completed four to six years of primary school remain illiterate, in the sense of not being able to read a single sentence. They went to school for several years and learned approximately nothing.
In just a handful of countries, going to schools for at least four or five years is essentially a perfect guarantee of basic literacy.
They also detected big differences between countries in quality of education.
The gaps between countries are also eye-popping. To pick two examples, In Tanzania 57% of women between 25 and 34 years old who reported fifth-grade as their highest educational attainment could read a sentence. In Ghana, that same number was 3%. Essentially, a year of schooling in Tanzania seems to raise your chances of literacy by nearly twenty-times as much as a year of schooling in Ghana. Should we believe that, and if so, what does it mean for Ghanaian education ?