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Regional Overview

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Out-of-School Children Initiative (OOSCI) is part of the global OOSCl Launched by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) in 2010. The overall objectives of the Initiative are to:

  • Improve the statistical information and analysis on out-of-school children and understand not just how many children are out of school, but who they are and where;
  • Identify the barriers that contribute to exclusion from education; and
  • Analyse the existing and needed policies and strategies related to enhanced school participation.

The ultimate goal is to improve interventions that address the issue of out-of-school children through more effective and equitable targeting. This is particularly key in MENA, constituted mostly of middle-income countries and experiencing a complex and challenging context that combines intense and protracted crises together with high inequalities among and within countries.

Eleven OOSCI countries in MENA have already undertaken analysis on out-of-school children within the framework of the OOSCI Initiative (Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, State of Palestine, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen). In addition, OOSCI is now expanding to Iran, Lebanon, and Libya. Efforts are also ongoing in all countries of the region to strengthen tracking systems and improve the response. 

Learn more about the MENA OOSCI and view our other key partners below.



      UIS logo                       UCW logo

      GPE logo                        EAC logo

New: MENA OOSCI Regional Fact Sheet

The 2018 MENA OOSCI Regional Fact Sheet provides a snapshot of the situation of the out-of-school children in the region, and shows the progress in the region in terms of reducing the number of out-of-school children, and highlights key data on the profiles of these children.

More detail >

You Know Me

Watch You Know Me, a short film about why the region’s children are not in school. Available are also behind the scenes 'making of' videos on three themes: conflict, dropout and gender discrimination. Videos are in English, Arabic and French.

More detail >

MENA Education Key Websites

For more information, visit other key websites on education in MENA:

Life Skills and Citizenship Education (LSCE) in MENA

Whole of Syria Education Focal Point

Also, check out UNICEF Middle East and North Africa website at: