Dhaka, July 7 (UNB) – Despite the acclaimed success in a secondary school stipend programme for rural girls in increasing girls’ enrolment in Bangladesh, data suggest girls from wealthier and landowning households are benefited disproportionately, said a new report.
Released by the Unesco Institute for Statistics (UIS) and the Education for All Global Monitoring Report (EFA GMR), the report shows that the issues of equity remain a concern.
The gap between the richest and poorest households continue to widen, a disparity particularly striking in Pakistan, which, like countries including Guinea and the
Philippines, has seen little improvement in the total percentage of children fully immunized. “By contrast, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso and Cambodia have made great progress.”
Along with improvement in net enrolment ratios, the percentage of children who have never been to school fell in the vast majority of countries. Among countries where at least
20 percent of children did not go to school in 2000, 10 Bangladesh, Burundi, Cambodia, the Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Haiti, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Nepal and the United Republic of Tanzania had more than halved the percentage by 2010.
The study shows the number of children and adolescents who are out of school is on the rise, and grew to 124 million in 2013. International aid to education remains below 2010 levels and is grossly insufficient to meet new education targets to achieve universal primary and secondary education.
“The World Education Forum in Incheon in May framed an ambitious vision for the next fifteen years, promising 12 years of free and equitable access to quality education,” said Unesco’s Director General Irina Bokova.
“Notwithstanding the importance of domestic resources, this new paper warns that unless countries make serious commitments to increase aid at forthcoming conferences in Oslo and Addis Ababa, this target could remain elusive for millions of children and youth.”
The new UIS figures show one in 11 children is out of school, totalling 59 million children in 2013, an increase of 2.4 million since 2010. Of these, 30 million live in sub-Saharan Africa and 10 million are in South and West Asia.
According to UIS estimates, 24 million children will never enter a classroom. Half of all out-of-school children in sub-Saharan Africa will never enroll. Girls are the most disadvantaged, particularly in South and West Asia, where 80 per cent of out-of-school girls are unlikely to start school, compared to just 16 per cent for boys.
In addition, one out of six adolescents is not in school, totaling 65 million in 2013. One third of these live in South and West Asia, another third in sub-Saharan Africa, where there are more adolescents out of school today than in 2000.
Meanwhile, the EFA GMR shows despite a small increase of 6 percent in aid to education, levels are 4 percent lower today than in 2010. Without renewed commitments, assistance will continue to stagnate until at least 2017.
It will cost an extra $40 billion to provide 12 years of education to everyone in low and lower-middle income countries.
To fill this shortfall, donor countries must increase their aid to education by 600 per cent. Instead, they are placing education lower on their list of priorities: half of donor countries decreased their aid to basic education from 2008-2010 and 2011-2013.
The paper shows that aid does not go where it is needed most. In 2013, only a third of aid to basic education was allocated to the poorest countries. Although sub-Saharan Africa accounts for more than half of out-of-school children, aid to basic education to the region made up just one third of total resources.