Millions of children in West and Central Africa are still denied an education.
The region accounts for one-third of the global total of primary school age children and one-fifth of lower secondary age children who are out of school. Children and adolescents caught up in humanitarian emergencies are especially vulnerable to missing out on schooling or dropping out of school permanently.
The region also lags behind in gender equality in education: for every ten boys enrolled in primary school, there are only nine girls. These differences get bigger as children progress through the school system.
Many children do not get the best start in life. Only one in four children in the region has access to early childhood learning, care, and stimulation. This means that they start first grade at a disadvantage, not ready to tackle the demands of primary education.
Another challenge is the quality of education. Even pupils who complete basic education face a slim chance of high-quality learning. This is despite the need for quality education to help prepare children with the skills, knowledge, values, and attitudes required for success in the 21st century.