Action and investment needed to universalize education: UNICEF
58 million children still without access to school
BRUSSELS, 26 June 2014 – Recent data show that progress in making education truly universal and inclusive, and the investment required to do so, have stalled. Today’s Global Partnership for Education (GPE) Second Replenishment conference calls on the international community to commit to giving all children access to school and learning.
Today, one in 11 children do not go to school - denied opportunity and hope because they are poor, have a disability, belong to an ethnic minority, or live in a remote or war-torn region. The majority are girls. A much larger number of children – as many as 250 million children – either do not reach grade 4, or do so without learning how to read, write or do basic math.
Although about half of the 58 million primary school-age children who are not in school live in conflict-affected countries, and many more children live in regions affected by disasters, education is not yet seen as a priority in humanitarian action and funding.
“In a world where the gap between the haves and the have-nots is growing, education is the most powerful equalizer of opportunity, and more critical than ever for the children being left behind,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake.
“We have to invest early, so that children are primed for lifelong learning; invest equitably, so that education’s huge dividends reach those who need them most; and invest in quality education, so that children leave school with the skills they need to succeed in work and life.”
“Education needs to be a central priority in humanitarian action. A safe place to learn does more than provide education; it provides hope and builds resilience. Children living through disasters and conflict have an equal right to education. It can heal, protect, and prepare their minds for life during and after disaster. Their futures, and the future of their countries, depend on it,” Lake said.
Education: The Statistics
Tel: +32 2 513 2251
Mobile: +32 492 93 37 43
UNICEF New York
Tel: + 1 212 326 4576
Mobile: +1 917 775 3874