NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Millions Of World's Children Not In School

March 22, 1999

Lack of education is endemic in sub-Saharan Africa -- and is particularly pronounced for girls in South Asia. That is the conclusion of a report from Oxfam, a British-based global aid agency.

  • Worldwide, 125 million primary-school aged children will not attend classes this year.
  • Another 150 million will leave school without basic literacy skills.
  • By 2015, some 75 million children will still be out of school, according to the organization's estimates.
  • Developing countries spend an average of $165 per pupil on primary and secondary education -- but only $49 in sub- Saharan Africa.

This compares to $4,636 per pupil being spent on average in Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development member countries.

By 2015, Africa will account for three-quarters of all the world's children who fail to receive an education.

Currently, South Asian girls account for two-thirds of all children who are not in school. And despite commitments to close the gender gap, it is widening in many countries, experts report.

Source: Jasminka Skrlec, "World's Schools Fail to Keep Up," Washington Times, March 22, 1999.


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