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Adolescents twice as likely to be out of school as children of primary school age, say UNESCO and UNICEF

Around 63 million adolescents between the ages of 12 to 15 years old are denied their right to an education, according to a new joint report from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics and UNICEF, Fixing the Broken Promise of Education for All: Findings from the Global Initiative on Out-of-School Children, released today during the Education World Forum.

Globally, 1 in 5 adolescents is not in school compared to 1 in 11 primary school-age children. So adolescents are twice as likely to be out of school as their younger counterparts. The report also shows that if current trends continue, 25 million children – 15 million girls and 10 million boys – are likely to never set foot inside a classroom.

“To realize the promise of universal education for every child, we need a global commitment to invest in three areas: getting more children into primary school; in helping more children – especially girls – stay in school through the secondary level; and improving the quality of the learning they receive throughout their schooling,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake.

Future First Global launched in 2014 based on the findings of a global research study that looked at the role former students could play in improving the learning experience for current students at their old schools. The study – which covered countries in Asia, East and West Africa, Latin America, North America, Europe and the Middle East – unearthed a vast resource that is the latent will of former students to volunteer at their old schools as relatable role models, mentors, work experience providers and trusted advisers.

“Keeping adolescents in school and ensuring that they have the support they need to stay in school and successfully transition from education into the workplace is critical”, said Emily Laurie, Managing Director of Future First Global.

“Our programmes show that alumni can play a major role in that. As relatable role models, former students prove to current students that working hard at school pays off. As mentors and volunteers in school clubs, alumni can help lift the aspirations of students still in school and build their motivation to work harder.”

“The ripple effect in terms of keeping students in school and raising their attainment levels is something we are already starting to see,” Laurie added.

Explore the Data

See the interactive data tool to better understand which children are out of school and why athttp://on.unesco.org/oosci-global.

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