Every one in five children in the world are not in school, says the latest UNICEF report
Every one in five children and young people, who belong to the age group of 5-17 years, is out of school, says the latest United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) report. This number of global out-of-school children comes to 303 million.
Two major reasons behind it are state of emergency and poverty. More than half of the primary-school age children, who are not going to school, live in countries affected by emergencies. “1 in 3 children and young people between 5 and 17 years old living in countries affected by conflict or disaster – 104 million – are not in school,” says the report titled ‘A future stolen: young and out-of-school’. It adds that countries affected by conflict also see that every one in five young people (15-17 years) have never been to school and two in five have not completed their primary education.
“When a country is hit by conflict or disaster, its children and young people are victimized twice,” says Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director. “In the near term, their schools are damaged, destroyed, occupied by military forces or even deliberately attacked, and they join the millions of young people out of school, and as the years progress they seldom return. In the long term they – and the countries they live in – will continue to face perpetuating cycles of poverty.”
When it comes to poverty, the report says that “poorest primary school age children 4 times more likely to be out of school compared to their peers from the richest households”.
For solutions, the UNICEF called for more investment in quality education that provides a safe environment in countries affected by “complex humanitarian emergencies and protracted crises”. It also claimed that less than 4 per cent humanitarian appeals in the world are dedicated to education.
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