OOSCI Session at the World Education Forum
At the World Education Forum held 19-22 May in Incheon, Republic of Korea, a session was held on Providing meaningful learning opportunities for out-of-school children. Despite the promises of the Millennium Declaration and Education for All, around the world, one child in eleven is still not enrolled in school. A further 63 million young adolescents who should be in lower secondary education are not enrolled.
Most of the global out-of-school population is concentrated in a small number of countries that have the furthest to travel towards universal basic education. Though many of these countries have made great strides towards expanding enrolment, they remain far from achieving universal primary education. Children in Nigeria, Pakistan and Djibouti, for example, continue to face broad challenges in accessing education, often due to the unaffordable cost of education. These countries may also be characterized by fragility, conflict, armed violence or mass migration, which are undoing the progress made in the past in countries such as Syria.
The children that remain out of school are predominantly those hardest to reach, who are not only poor but face particular barriers which intensify their disadvantage, such as discrimination on the basis of gender or ethnicity, or the inability of school to cater for working children or those with disabilities. The OOSCI session provided a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the profiles of children out of school in different regions of the world, including MENA. Speakers explored the changes needed in countries with large out-of-school populations, as well as examples of effective approaches in countries.
- Hannah Godefa, UNICEF National Ambassador to Ethiopia
- Albert Motivans, UNESCO Institute for Statistics
- Mary Joy Pigozzi, Educate A Child
- Liliana Preoteasa, Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Education and Scientific Research, Romania
- Nesmy Manigat, Minister of Education, Haiti
- Karen Mundy, Global Partnership for Education, USA
- Jo Bourne, UNICEF Associate Director for Education