UN: 250 million school age kids can't read

2014-01-30 09:31

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

United Nations - At least 250 million of the world's 650 million primary school age children are unable to read, write or do basic mathematics, according to a report on Wednesday commissioned by the UN education agency.

The report found that 130 million are in primary school but have not achieved the minimum benchmarks for learning, and almost 120 million have spent little or no time in a classroom including 57 million youngsters who are not attending school.

The independent research team that wrote the report for Unesco, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, calculated that the cost of 250 million children around the world not learning translates to a loss for governments of around $129bn annually.

Unesco's UN representative Vibeke Jensen said this global "learning crisis" is mainly caused by a lack of well-trained teachers, especially in impoverished areas.

"While more children are in school, it's been at the cost of quality," she said at a news conference launching the report. "The issue now is to put the focus on quality."

Teachers

In a third of countries analyzed by the team, less than 75% of the primary school teachers had been trained to meet national standards.

"Teachers have the future of this generation in their hands," Unesco's Director-General Irina Bokova said in a statement. "We need 5.2 million teachers to be recruited by 2015, and we need to work harder to support them in providing children with their right to a universal, free and quality education."

The report said that ensuring an equal, quality education can increase a country's gross domestic product per capita by 23% over 40 years.

But according to the report, almost half the children out of school globally are expected never to make it into a classroom - and that includes almost two-thirds of girls in Arab states and sub-Saharan Africa.

The research team reported that almost half the world's out-of-school population of 57 million live in conflict-affected areas, up from 42% in 2008.

It estimated that 14 countries had more than one million children out of school in 2011 including Afghanistan, China, Congo, Somalia, Sudan before its break-up, and Tanzania.

On the plus side, it said three countries reduced their out-of-school populations by at least 85% in the last five years - Laos, Rwanda and Vietnam.

World leaders set a goal in 2000 of giving every child a primary school education by 2015 but the report said it is "likely to be missed by a wide margin".

Sub-Saharan Africa is the region lagging farthest behind.

The researchers forecast that if recent trends in the region continue, the richest boys will achieve the goal of completing primary education in 2021 but the poorest girls will not catch up until 2086.

- AP

Read more on:    un  |  unesco  |  human rights
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Monday Kuils River - 17:34 PM
    Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound
    ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit
  • Sunday Parow - 08:10 AM
    Road name: Mike Pienaar Boulevard
    WEEKENDS - ROAD CLOSED between Voortrekker Road and Tienie Meyer Drive due to roadworks (until end July)
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Shift Team Leader

Bellville
Human Communications (Pty) Ltd
R10 000 Per Month

Stock Controller

Cape Winelands
Your Move Personnel
R3 900 Per Month

SAP TD Specialist (Temp) Cape Town

Cape Town
Full Circle Consulting & Trading (Pty) Ltd

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia N9

The Nokia N9 has a beautiful one-piece, unibody design where...

From R2899.85

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something may come up to alert you of your security needs. It may be that you need to create a better structure for your finances...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.