Young future

UNESCO: "The challenge of getting all children and youth into school is immense"

15 July Jul 2016 0942 15 July 2016
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With 263 million children and youth out of school, there is still a long road ahead to meet the new global education goal, SDG 4, that pledges to ‘ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes’.

Globally, about 263 million children and youth are out of school. According to Unesco Institute of Statistics (UIS) data, this number includes 61 million children of primary school age (about 6 to 11 years), 60 million young adolescents of lower secondary school age (about 12 to 14 years), and 142 million youth of upper secondary school age (about 15 to 17 years) for the school year ending in 2014.

Gender blind

A further pledge in the global education goal being to ‘eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and children in vulnerable situations’ by 2030.

But with the UIS statistic showing that girls are more likely to remain excluded from education, while out-of-school boys stand a greater chance of eventually entering school there is still a lot of work to be done.

Girls are more likely to remain excluded from education

Unesco Institute of Statistics (UIS)

This year's UN World Population Day theme was investing in teenage girls: an appropriate choice, considering that 54% of the out-of-school children, adolescents and youth are female.

"Girls being more likely than boys to remain completely excluded from education, despite the efforts and progress made over the past two decades. According to UIS data, 15 million girls of primary school age will never have the opportunity to learn to read and write in primary school, compared to about 10 million boys."

To learn more about the UNESCO report "Leaving no one behind: How far on the way to universal primary and secondary education?", click here

To learn more about global access to education, watch the video below:

Photo Credits: Getty Images/Sean Gallup

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