Adolescents, education & participation
Access to quality education is a human right for all children and adolescents. This right is cemented by international conventions, such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Education for All goals. Yet, in the region:
UNICEF in the region is working to increase access to education for adolescents out of school, to close equity gaps in education and to enhance young people's participation in policymaking.
In 2010, UNICEF launched a regional study to investigate the situation of education quality from the perspectives of young people themslves. Using an innovative and participatory methodology, UNICEF trained teams of youth researchers to conduct nationally representative surveys on education quality in three countries - Georgia, Kosovo* and Tajikistan. UNICEF also included the Chechnya, Russian Federation in the investigation, where youth led focus group discussions were held and analysed.
The findings of the study - Demand for Education Innovation - contribute to a better understanding among governments and partners of the challenges facing young people in education and to identify young people's priorities for improving education quality. The research engaged young people from Kosovo*, Georgia and Tajikistan at all stages of the research process - from its design to the dissemination of the findings. It calls on governments to:
The follow up to the research is ongoing at national and regional level. For more information about this work, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.Multi-country study on youth perspectives shows high demand for education but barriers persist
GENEVA, 19 October 2011 — UNICEF today launched the first-ever youth-driven study based on nationally representative surveys of young people`s perspectives on education quality in Georgia, Kosovo* and Tajikistan. They are calling for more education but social, political and economic barriers are preventing them from achieving their educational goals, the findings show.
The vast majority of young people – over 90 per cent of 13-24 year olds surveyed in all three countries - say they would like more education than they already have. Yet the study shows that while education enrolment rates are holding steady or improving, self-reported absenteeism is high and many dropouts are occurring. Youth are struggling to push past barriers to stay in school.
The barriers range from poverty, poor quality of education, lack of modernized education content, lack of flexible services for young people with special learning needs and disabilities, lack of non-formal learning opportunities, restrictive gender roles, early marriage and particularly for Tajik female students, lack of parental support.
“Adolescents and youths have unique insights into the challenges and priorities facing them. Including their perspectives is necessary so together they can play a key role in developing initiatives that fully address the most urgent issues affecting them,” said Kirsi Madi, Deputy Regional Director for UNICEF Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States Regional Office, at the launch.
The study titled Demand for Education Innovation: Adolescent and Youth Perspectives on Education Quality involved almost 2,000 randomly sampled and surveyed young people and another 500 youth interviewed in 61 focus group discussions. Dozens more developed the topics, questionnaire and carried out the surveys. Among key findings are:
For more information, please contact:
UNICEF CEE/CIS Regional Office
* Under UNSC Resolution 1244
Demand for Education Innovation
Published by the UNICEF Regional Office, 2011.
Key messages, outcomes and recommendations from the Partners Consultation, October 2011.
Evaluation of Research Process
Click here to read about the research process that led to Demand for Education Innovation: Adolescent and Youth Perspectives on Education Quality in the CEECIS region.
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International Youth Day
In this podcast, Amy Costello discusses the importance of youth participation in achieving education quality in a commemoration of International Youth Day.
By youth, for youth