India has over 1 million children out of school: UNESCO

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on 26 June 2014 released a report.

Created On: Jun 28, 2014 15:30 ISTModified On: Jun 28, 2014 18:12 IST

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on 26 June 2014 released a report. The report released that around 58 million children aged 6 to 11 are still out of school.

The data was presented by the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, at a press conference in Brussels, France. The conference was organized by the Global Partnership for Education.

The new global out-of-school figures are produced by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS). The new figures showed that around 43% of those out of school are unlikely ever to set foot in a classroom if current trends continue. Specifically, around 15 million girls and 10 million boys will not ever get opportunity to study as per the report.

Highlights of the report:

The report mentioned about the success of 17 countries that have reduced their out-of-school populations by almost 90 per cent in a little over a decade which highlights that positive change is possible. These countries have invested in positive actions such as abolishing school fees, introducing more relevant curricula and providing financial support to struggling families.

The lack of global progress is largely due to high population growth in sub-Saharan Africa, now home to more than 30 million out-of-school children. Across the region, more than one in three children who entered the educational system in 2012 will leave before reaching the last grade of primary school.

The paper also showed critical gaps in the education of older children aged 12 to 15. Globally, 63 million adolescents were out of school in 2012. Although numbers have fallen by nearly one-third since 2000 in South and West Asia, the region has the largest population of out-of-school adolescents at 26 million.

Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 21 million out-of-school adolescents and their numbers will continue to grow if current trends continue.

The paper includes analysis by the Education for All Global Monitoring Report showing that 17 countries, which accounted for about one-quarter of the global out-of-school population in 2000, bucked the trend by reducing their out-of-school populations by 86 per cent, from 27 million to less than 4 million, in little over a decade. In Nepal, for instance, 24% of children were out of school in 2000, but this rate fell to 1 per cent by 2013. Morocco’s out-of-school population fell by 96 per cent over the same period.

The analysis identified six policies that have proven successful in helping primary school age children attend school and may offer useful lessons for other countries:

Fee abolition: Burundi abolished school fees in 2005 and primary school enrolment in the country rose from 54 per cent to 94 per cent in six years.

Social cash transfers: Nicaragua introduced social cash transfers to help families offset the cost of schooling in 2000, the percentage of children who had never been to school fell from 17 per cent in 1998 to 7 per cent in 2009.

Increased attention to ethnic and linguistic minorities:
Morocco introduced the teaching of the local Amazigh language in primary schools in 2003 and saw the percentage of children who had never been to school fall from 9 per cent to 4 per cent from that date to 2009.

Increasing education expenditure: Ghana doubled education spending and saw the number of children enrolled in school rise from 2.4 million in 1999 to 4.1 million in 2013.

Improving education quality:
VietNam, which introduced a new curriculum that paid particular attention to disadvantaged learners, managed to more than halve the percentage of children who had never been to school between 2000 and 2010.

Overcoming conflict:
the gap in access to education between children in conflict areas and elsewhere in Nepal was closed by the time the civil war in the country ended in 2006, thanks to programmes that increased education opportunities, notably scholarships for marginalized groups.

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