At 47 million, India has the most adolescent school dropouts

Manash Pratim Gohain| TNN | Jul 15, 2016, 06.39 AM IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • About 47 million adolescents in India have not progressed to upper secondary school
  • Of all regions, sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rates of exclusion
     
  • The report says about 2.9 million children in India have not attended school at all

 

NEW DELHI: A joint study by Unesco Institute for Statistics and the Global Education Monitoring Report has found that 47 million adolescents in India have not progressed to upper secondary school.

As per the data, the country has the highest number of out-of-school adolescents in the world.

GloballY, about 263 million children and adolescents are out of school, which is equivalent to about a quarter of the population of Europe.

Sharing India specific data, the report also highlighted that 2.9 million children have not attended school at all, which is the third highest number of out-of-primary school children in a country after Nigeria and Pakistan.

But comparative data showed that things have improved since 2010 when almost 21 million primary school age children were out of school.

The report found that poverty is a significant barrier to education in India.

"Countries have promised to provide every child with a primary and secondary education by 2030. These new findings show the hard work ahe ad if we are to reach this goal," Unesco director general Irina Bokova said, adding, "Our focus must be on inclusion from the earliest age and right through the learning cycle, on poli cies that address the barriers at every stage, with special attention to girls who still face the greatest disadvantage."

Of all regions, sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rates of exclusion.

Over a fifth of children between the ages of six and 11 are out of school, followed by a third of adolescents aged 12 and 14, the report said.


Almost 60% of adolescents aged between 15 and 17 years are not in school.


A key obstacle to achieving the agreed target is persistent disparities in education participation linked to sex, location and wealth.


Armed conflict poses another major barrier to education, with globally, 35% or 22 million of all out-of-school children of primary education age live in areas affected by conflict. In general, 15 to 17-year-olds are four times as likely to be out of school as are children aged six to 11. This is partly because primary and lower secondary education are compulsory in nearly every country, while upper secondary school is not. At the same time, these youths are often of legal working age. Many have no choice but to work while others try to combine going to school with employment.


Also girls are more likely than boys to never set foot in a classroom, despite efforts made and progress achieved over the past two decades -- 15 million girls of primary school age will never get the chance to learn to read or write in primary school compared to about 10 million boys. Over half of these girls - 9 million - live in sub-Saharan Africa.

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