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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.

Countries with ongoing work on OOSCI in MENA are: Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia and Yemen. Recently, the work of OOSCI has also expanded to new countries in the region: Iran, Lebanon, Libya, Syria and the State of Palestine. The work within the framework of the Initiative is led by Ministries of Education working closely with a team of national and local education officials and stakeholders from civil society and think tanks. Learn more about the MENA OOSCI and view our other key partners below.



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Unpack the OOSCI Data

Despite impressive progress in raising primary school enrolment over the past decade, one in every four children and young adolescents in the MENA region are either out of school or at risk of dropping out. More facts and figures available in our Data Snapshot and infographic video.

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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.

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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: