Education is a basic human right and a basis for the realization of all other rights. It is vital for development and the well-being of individuals and societies as a whole. In South Asia, 11.3 million children at the primary level and 20.6 million children at the lower secondary level are out-of-school. Millions of children complete primary education without mastering the foundational skills of basic numeracy and literacy.
Classrooms in South Asia are teacher-centred and rote-based, and children are subjected to corporal punishment and discrimination. Girls face incredible hurdles to pursue their education in the region. Improvements in the quality of teaching can reduce dropout rates and ensure better transitions from early childhood learning into primary and secondary education.
South Asia is vulnerable to natural hazards, political instability, rising extremism and civil strife, which can adversely affect children’s learning environment. Natural and man-made crises increase the difficulty in delivering quality education services to children. In addition to this, low levels of public finance for education limits the delivery of inclusive and equitable quality education.
UNICEF works with partners in the region to address the challenges that keep children out of school. Our programmes ensure children from the most marginalized communities get an opportunity, empowering them with the skills to learn and become active and employable citizens.