New out-of-school global figures show no progress

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UN Photo/Jean Pierre Laffont

Fifty eight million children aged 6 to 11 are still out of school, a new policy paper by UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has shown.

The new global out-of-school figures demonstrate that there has been little overall improvement since 2007.

Around 43 per cent of those out of school- nearly 15 million girls and 10 million boys- are unlikely ever to set foot in a classroom if current trends continue.

The data will be presented by UNESCO's Director-General, Irina Bokova on Thursday at a pledging conference in Brussels organized by the Global Partnership for Education.

Donors and countries are expected to renew their commitment to get all children in school and learning, particularly in the world's poorest countries.

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.

However, the paper highlights that positive change is possible, presenting the success of 17 countries that have reduced their out-of-school populations by 90 per cent in a little over a decade.

Some of the successful policies observed are fee abolition, social cash transfers to help families offset the cost of schooling and increased attention to ethnic and linguistic minorities.

Sophie Outhwaite, United Nations.

Duration: 1’33″

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