24 million children in conflict zones out of school

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A young boy writes in his maths book, in a Protection of Civilians site in Juba, South Sudan (UNMISS) in Juba. File Photo: UNICEF/UNI169063/Nesbitt

One in four children in conflict zones around the world are out of school, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has said.

The agency said that nearly 24 million children living in 22 countries were no longer attending classes.

Dianne Penn reports.

The UNICEF report shows that nearly one in four of the 109 million children of school age living in conflict areas are missing out on their education.

South Sudan is home to the highest proportion of out-of-school children, with 51 per cent of primary and lower secondary age children not accessing an education.

Gordon Koang Juay Bol is a father of two who lives in a camp for displaced people in Bentiu in the north of the country.

"Education is very important. If these children are not going to school, then peace will not come to South Sudan. Education can unite the people of South Sudan. It can tell them what is right and what is wrong." 

UNICEF says that unless the provision of education in emergencies is prioritised, a generation of children living in conflict will grow up without the skills they need to contribute to their countries and economies.

That, the agency says, will exacerbate the already desperate situation for millions of children and their families.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1'04"

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