Children Out of School: Measuring Exclusion from Primary Education


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Publication Date: 2006
Author/Publisher: UNESCO
Language: English
ISBN: 92-9189-026-X

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One hundred and fifteen million primary school-age children are out of school according to a joint global estimate by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and UNICEF cited in this report. This number equals 18% - or almost one in five - of the children worldwide in this age group.

This report aims to improve our understanding of how many children are out of school and who they are. It presents a new methodology for counting the number of children who are out of school and explores the link between participation and the characteristics of children and the households in which they live. Data from across a large number of less developed countries reflect disadvantage in terms of participation in primary schooling by gender, location of residence and household wealth.

The report also shows that efforts to widen access to primary education must recognise the different types of out-of-school children, e.g., those who never enter a school, those who start late and those who leave school early. Different contexts call for different types of policies. And the profile of out-of-school children can vary widely across countries. Thus, understanding the proximate determinants of out-of-school status are important to planning policies aimed at reducing the number of children excluded from education.


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