ISLAMABAD: No less than 58 million children across the globe aged between six to 11 years are out of school, an upcoming United Nations data reveals.
To be released worldwide today (Thursday), the new findings of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) on the global educational standards reveal that the education standards worldwide have shown improvement in the last seven years (since 2007) but still more than 58 million children were out of schools in different parts of the world. The UNESCO fresh data will be presented at a press conference today (Thursday) being held during a pledging meeting organised by the Global Partnership for Education in Brussels, where donors and countries are expected to renew their commitment to get all children in school and learning.
According to the latest findings, 17 countries have reduced their out-of-school populations by almost 90 percent in “little over a decade by investing in positive actions such as abolishing school fees, introducing more relevant curricula and providing financial support to struggling families.”
The new global out-of-school figures show that around 43 percent of those out of school – or 15 million girls and 10 million boys – will “probably never set foot in a classroom if current trends continue.”
The UNESCO says 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. “Most of these children will never start school and those who do are at risk of dropping out.
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.” Identifying critical gaps in the education of older children aged 12 to 15, the UN body states that 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, according to UNESCO. Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 21 million out-of-school adolescents and their numbers will continue to grow if current trends continue.
The 17 countries, which accounted for about one-quarter of the global out-of-school population in 2000, have bucked the trend by reducing their out-of-school populations by 86 percent, from 27 million to less than four million, in little over a decade. In Nepal, for instance, 24 percent of children were out of school in 2000, but this rate fell to one percent by 2013. Morocco’s out-of-school population fell by 96 percent over the same period, the UNSCO says.
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