I refuse to accept that the world is so poor, when just one week of global spending on armies is enough to bring all of our children into classrooms.”

Kailash Satyarthi
2014 Nobel Laureate

Share this content
Follow us 

There are an estimated 33 million primary and lower secondary
out-of-school children in South Asia in 2016

UNICEF South Asia is accelerating efforts to achieve this shared vision in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). There exists an urgent need to address the persisting challenges of out-of-school children and learning along with ECD and gender equality through primary and secondary education and alternative learning pathways. UNICEF is committed to advance the right to learn for the most disadvantaged children in disaster and conflict prone South Asia.


12 million currently out-of-school children enjoy quality education by 2017


Achieve universal primary education by 2015


Regional Education Strategy to Educate All Girls and Boys: 12 million currently out-of-school children enjoy quality education by 2017.

theory of change

This holistic approach covers the entire life-cycle of children: starting from infancy to pre-school through elementary and secondary education to ensure further training and employment opportunities for young women and men.


This section covers children of primary and lower-secondary school age, i.e. children ages 5-14. Projections are based on latest available data from the UIS Data Center accessed April 2016 and UNPD 2015 revision. UIS data are regularly updated including historical data.

According to UIS data, globally there were about 263 million out-of-school children and youth in 2014: 61 million children of primary school age (6-11 years old), 60 million young adolescents (12-14 years old), and 142 million youth and upper-secondary school age (15-17 years old).
The graph below provides elements of comparison for primary school-aged OOSC for three regions: South and West Asia (South Asia with Iran), Sub-Saharan Africa, and the rest of the world combined, for the years 1990 to 2012. In those three broad regions, the rate of decrease has stalled since 2007, leading to a much slower reduction of OOSC numbers in recent years. Another interesting observation is that South Asia is the only region in the world where there are now more boys than girls OOS, despite very large disparities among countries where this phenomenon is not observed (Pakistan, Afghanistan).

Number of out-of-school children of primary school age, 1990-2012

Data Source: UIS database, 2014

The reduction in the numbers of primary out-of-school children has been stagnating since 2007. Based on the average rate of reduction calculated based on the 10-year historical trend from 2004 to 20131, it is estimated that 8.8 million of the region’s primary school age children are out of school in 2016.

Primary out-of-school children in South Asia: historical trend and projections

Data Source: UNESCO Institute for Statistics Data Centre, accessed April 2016, and UNPD Population estimates, 2015 revision.

Accelerated efforts are needed to reach out-of-school adolescents who make up the bulk (72 percent) of the 36.5 million out-of-school children in the region (2012 baseline for total primary and lower secondary out-of-school children). Based on the average rate of reduction calculated on the five year historical trend from 2009 to 20132, it is estimated that 24.2 million of the region’s children aged 10-14 are out-of-school in 2016.

Data Source: UNESCO Institute for Statistics Data Centre, accessed April 2016, and UNPD Population estimates, 2015 revision.


The following graph shows the evolution of the total number of out-of-school children (children of 6-14 years of age, primary and lower secondary combined) in South Asia. From 1999 to 2013, the blue line represents the historical trend, with a reduction from 72.8 million OOSC to 36.4 million, when the baseline was set for the education headline result.
This helps to visualize the added efforts needed to meet the reduction target. The red dotted line represents where we are currently heading, whereas the green line represents where we would like to go, in order to meet the objective. The difference between the two lines is the gap we need to fill by accelerating efforts.

Example of graph showing needed acceleration to reach headline result on Out-of-school children

Total number of OOSC in South Asia: historical trend and projections

Sources: UIS Education database, accessed in April 2015, and UNPD population data, 2015 revision.

Taking a step further and noting the massive disparities prevailing in South Asia, ROSA also made a bold commitment to achieve six headline results for improved children’s rights in South Asia by 2017, including to “Educate all girls and boys: 12 million currently out-of-school children enjoy quality education.”3

In order to achieve the education headline result target, the countries with the largest pools of OOSC will need greater acceleration. These are India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Nepal. In Maldives, Bhutan and Sri Lanka, as well as sustaining achievements in enrolment, inequities need addressing and the increasing trend of dropout from school addressed. Taking this into account, ROSA support to countries and collaboration with partners will focus on the following:

1. Measurement, projection and monitoring of progress – generate regional level projections on OOSC numbers and work with countries to generate profiles of OOSC, including identifying the high-burden countries and geographic areas (e.g. specific States in India, Provinces in Pakistan) and analysis of the most disadvantaged groups (e.g. girls from the poorest families in rural areas) which can be used for identifying targeted interventions. The projections and disaggregated data analysis will also be used to monitor progress in meeting the target.

2. Strengthening of education monitoring systems (e.g. EMIS) including integration of children at risk of dropping out and OOSC. This could also lead to putting in place an “early warning” system that identifies children at risk of dropping out and allows for interventions before children become out of school. This will also build on the work in countries to support strengthening EMIS, real time monitoring, data feedback loop to schools and communities like school profiles/report cards, etc.

3. Utilize tools to measure equity and cost effectiveness and identify high-impact interventions; support countries adopt these tools and utilize evidence, and prioritize interventions to promote on-time enrolment, prevent dropout and reduce the numbers of OOSC.

This approach will build on the analysis of profiles of out-of-school children and adolescents generated from the national out-of-school children studies, situation analyses, child deprivation and other data analyses. It will also link the barriers and bottleneck analysis to key profiles of OOSC and use the 10 determinants framework under the Monitoring Results for Equity System (MoRES) as a framework for analyzing the barriers.

Improving access to learning opportunities for girls in Afghanistan through community-based education

Prolonged armed conflict has resulted in larger numbers of out-of-school children in Afghanistan, and the majority of girls are not able to complete the full cycle of primary education. Despite significant progress made in education sector for more than a decade, the primary school gross enrolment ratio is 75 per cent, with girls at 63 per cent and boys 86 per cent. Sustained support is required to keep the current 8.6 million children in school and to enroll an estimated 3.5 million out-of-school children, 70 per cent of whom are girls.4
A combination of supply and demand factors act as barriers to girls’ access schools. These include long distances to schools, insecurity, socio-cultural practices and norms, such as early marriage. There is also a limited supply of girls’ schools (at 16 per cent of schools) and a shortage of qualified female teachers (at 30 per cent of teachers). Moreover, 50 per cent of schools are without adequate buildings, water and sanitation facilities, and most of them lack boundary walls for security.
A recent assessment of Ministry of Education programmes in Afghanistan has identified community-based education as the most effective means of reaching out-of-school children, especially girls, in an insecure context. Since these schools are based on community demand, are generally within walking distance for children and teachers are identified locally, there appears to be a greater acceptance and willingness on the part of families to send their girls to these schools.
Accordingly, UNICEF supports the Ministry of Education to implement community-based education (CBE) and alternative learning programmes in the 10 most deprived provinces and selected districts of seven other provinces without formal schools. CBE has also been institutionalized in the system and is one of the three key areas funded by the GPE programme.
This work is done through:
• Community needs assessments;
• Advocacy and community mobilization for girls’ education;
• Technical assistance and capacity building for implementing the CBE policy;
• Establishing partnerships with NGOs where access and security are difficult for government counterparts; and
• Monitoring using a combination of approaches, such as the Government’s academic supervision and third parties.
As a result of this programme, nearly 49,000 out-of-school children (50 per cent girls) accessed learning opportunities through 1,800 community-based schools in 2015, surpassing the planned target for the year by 23 per cent.

Efforts to reach out-of-school children through the Second Chance Education division in Bangladesh

Addressing the issue of out-of-school children, including providing alternative pathways to education for these children is a priority for Bangladesh. A Second Chance Education (SCE) Division was created in 2014 under the Directorate of Primary Education, Ministry of Primary and Mass Education. This division is responsible for implementing second chance education, i.e. non-formal education with equivalency to formal education for out-of-school children ages 8-14 years. Specific provisions and budget for Second Chance Education has been included in the Primary Education Development Programme 3, the national education sector plan. A priority of the SCE Division is to strengthen the Basic Education for Hard-to-Reach Urban Working Children initiative, as well as to reach out-of-school children in rural areas. The task ahead is very ambitious, as there are an estimated 27 percent primary school age children out of school in Bangladesh in 20135, with a higher OOSC rate for boys (29%) than girls (24%). The graph below also illustrates the influence of mother’s education level as well as wealth on the rate of out-of-school children. Primary school going children in Bangladesh also face an important learning crisis, as only 1 in 4 children of Grade 5 achieve competencies of that level in Maths and Bangla.6

Bangladesh out-of-school children of primary school age in 2013

Data Source: Bangladesh MICS 2012-2013

In this context, UNICEF is supporting SCE to implement four different already tested models such as the Ability Based Accelerated Learning model, or variants of multi-grade learning models in partnership with NGOs and INGOs such as BRAC, Save the Children, DAM or Shikhon for example, in a total of 6 districts in 2015 (both urban and rural). The UNICEF Regional Office and Country office are also collaborating on a capacity building training to provide technical support on data use and OOSC interventions at sub-national level, to further enhance the SCE’s mandate to reach out-of-school children in Bangladesh. Those short term pilots will in turn feed the long term support and strategy for the post Primary Education Development Program III planning.

Targeting educational inequities in the context of disaster recovery: Nepal’s equity index

In Nepal, despite progress in terms of education access, efficiency and gender equality, there remain substantial inequities among disadvantaged population groups.
To address this need, the Government of Nepal, with UNICEF support, has developed a Consolidated Equity Strategy for the School Education Sector that was launched in December 2014. The main objectives of this strategy are to reduce the current disparities in educational opportunities for children in basic and secondary public education in Nepal. As focal point for the Education Development Partners Group and GPE Coordinating Agency, UNICEF Nepal is at the forefront of strategic education policy development and implementation in the country.
Since then, difficulties have increased for the most affected populations following the massive earthquakes of 25 April and 12 May 2015, and the political crisis which led to disruptions to school services for months, affecting 1.6 million children. Out of Nepal’s 75 districts, 15 had already been identified as programme priority districts with high numbers of out-of-school children and illiteracy, and 14 additional districts have been heavily impacted by the earthquake, affecting 1.1 million children.
The implementation of the consolidated Equity Strategy includes the development and computation of an Equity Index. Throughout 2015, UNICEF provided significant support to the Government in the conception and development of the index for all 75 districts. The Equity Index captures district-level disparities in access, participation and learning outcomes in basic and secondary-level education, and will inform the implementation of the new Education Sector Plan, as well as being instrumental in prioritizing system recovery efforts for the most disadvantaged.
At the national level, it is intended that the Equity Index will become a key planning and programming tool, as it allows ranking of all districts based on educational outcomes with a strong equity lens: priority districts are immediately identified, along with the educational component in need of support, as well as the main drivers of inequity in each district.
At district level, the ‘unpacking’ of the equity index value allows for better targeting of interventions to the most disadvantaged children and is intended to lead to greater efficiency in resource allocation in all districts, and particularly in the southern priority districts with high levels of illiteracy and large number of out-of-school children and in the districts most affected by the earthquake.
In the context of education system recovery for districts affected the most by the earthquake, this tool will help to better capture and monitor compounded inequities faced by affected populations such as displaced people. Simultaneously, in the southern districts that were impacted the most by political unrest resulting in prolonged school closure, the equity index will serve the same purpose and point towards the dominant inequity factors such as caste, gender or geographical location for example.
Hence, using the Equity Index should help to facilitate a more precise local-level targeting of the most disadvantaged children.

Inequities in education persist among countries in South Asia. Specific groups of children are more likely to be excluded from education, in particular children from the poorest families, girls, children with disabilities, and children from rural remote areas.

In India, there has been a 2.09 million reduction in OOSC numbers from 2009 to 2014 which is a result of the enactment and implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act.7 The highest reductions in OOSC numbers was registered in rural areas, and for the 11-13 age group. The numbers of OOSC in urban areas however increased by 240,000 between 2009 and 2014. UNICEF India worked in partnership with government and civil society at national and state level to drive acceleration in OOSC reduction as well as substantial increases in the education sector budget alongside institutional reform and field level innovation.

India OOSC numbers, 2009 and 2014, by sex, urban-rural and age group

Data source: Social & Rural Research Institute (SRRI) 2014 report, IMRB International

Progress in the reduction of OOSC numbers in India needs to be further investigated by looking at the state-wise situation. Six States alone account for 75 percent of the 6.06 million out-of-school children ages 6-13 as of 2014. Uttar Pradesh alone is home to 27 percent of India’s out-of-school children while Bihar accounts for 19 percent and Rajasthan, 10 percent indicating the States with the highest burden. Furthermore, given the complex nature of the out-of-school population, it important to look at all possible levels of data disaggregation.

“Education is at the heart of the sustainable development agenda and essential for the success of all sustainable development goals.” – Education 2030 / SDG 4 Global Framework for Action

On 25 September 2015, the international community led by the UN and Heads of State endorsed a new sustainable development agenda. The set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs aim to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved until 2030. In particular, SDG 4 commits countries and the international community to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.” An Education 2030 Global Framework for Action has also been endorsed by countries to guide the implementation modalities as well as financing to meet SDG 4 targets. UNICEF sees the adoption of the SDGs as a historic opportunity to advance the rights and well-being of every child, especially the most disadvantaged. It is also chance to secure a healthy, peaceful planet for today’s children and future generations.8 The SDG’s focus on inclusion and equity – giving everyone an equal opportunity, and leaving no one behind signals captured in the UNICEF South Asia Headline Result: “Educate all girls and boys: 12 million currently out-of-school children enjoy quality education.”

In line with the SDGs and the Headline Result, UNICEF ROSA is committed to expand efforts to reach children marginalized from education by gender inequality, poverty, conflict and disaster, disability, remoteness of location and other factors. Emphasis is also given on both education quality and learning, supporting countries to not only concentrate on access to education but also ensuring students are learning either through formal schooling or alternative options.

To support countries meet the SDGs and the Education Headline Result, ROSA is collaborating with UNESCO and the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Secretariat to draft a SAARC Framework for Action for Education 2030 for approval at the SAARC Education Ministers Meeting in the Maldives in Oct/Nov. 2016. The Framework aims to institutionalize regional coordination, partnerships and networks, and monitoring of SDG4 taking into account the South Asia context. The Framework will be developed within the broader scope of the global Framework for Action for Education 2030. The Framework will include clear regional targets, realistic results with timelines and clear regional coordination mechanisms and monitoring of SDG 4 progress. The framework will also give space to South-South cooperation through study visits, joint research and joint advocacy, among others. A proposed Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization-SAARC collaboration in education can further boost South-South cooperation for education. Moreover, through a collaboration with the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Regional Office and UNICEF EAPRO, ROSA is co-chairing the Asia-Pacific Thematic Working Group on Education 2030+ which is positioned to be the main regional coordination mechanism among UN agencies and development partners to support countries achieve the SDGs, particularly SDG 4. ROSA is also committed to co-convene with UNESCO and EAPRO Education SDG meetings for the wider Asia-Pacific region, engaging countries and development partners to meet the SDGs and also to prioritize the unfinished EFA/MDG agenda of getting all children to school.


Activity Based Learning (ABL) as a means of child-friendly education in India
In India, the Activity Based Learning (ABL) pedagogy initially developed by Rishi Valley Institute for Educational Resources (RIVER), has been adapted and implemented in government primary schools in several states including Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. It involves mixing students of different ages or grade levels in a single classroom, with students seated in small groups where they carry out independent learning with the support of teacher and peers. In 2014, UNICEF in consultation with the Ministry of Human Resource Development, commissioned an evaluation of the ABL approach in those seven states. The evaluation, guided by a Research Advisory Committee of experts, showed that when comparisons are made between classrooms that adhere more closely to the ABL model and those that do not, there are significant differences in the way teaching-learning process is organized and in learning outcomes of students in the former. It also provides recommendations as to how ABL impacts on both cognitive and non-cognitive learning process and outcomes. For learning outcomes to significantly improve, ABL needs to be better imbedded within state level educational programmes, and above all earn much greater buy-in from teachers with improved pre- and in-service training and support from school-based management through clearer implementation procedures. The findings of this evaluation provide insights into how and under what conditions can effective child-centred pedagogy be scaled up to reduce learning gaps, social barriers and discrimination in India.

Evaluations of the Child Friendly Approach (CFA) in Sri Lanka
In Sri Lanka, the evaluation of the CFA in primary schools, a UNICEF and Government of Sri Lanka initiative, reviews the implementation of the approach from 2009 to 2014 and provides evidence on changes in primary education resulting from CFA interventions, by focusing on relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of the approach. Using mixed methods, the evaluation demonstrates that CFA has been mainstreamed successfully into a number of areas of the Education system such as (1) school planning and quality assurance processes; (2) catchment area mapping and school attendance and drop out monitoring as well as (3) cross-sectoral programs to support the implementation of more holistic and rights-based child development approaches in schools. From an evaluation methodology standpoint, this evaluation provided useful insights and lessons learned into evaluating programs aimed at mainstreaming comprehensive approaches such as the CFA within Government systems and corresponding challenges in identifying counterfactuals and measuring attribution.

Global/Regional Publications

Government of Nepal, Ministry of Women and Child Development and United Nations Children’s Fund, Quality Standards for Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE), 2014, accessed 3 April 2015.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Bangkok, Innovative Financing for Out-of-School Children and Youth, accessed 3 April 2015.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Institute for Statistics, Fixing the Broken Promise of Education for All – Findings from the Global Initiative on Out-of-School Children , accessed 3 April 2015.

United Nations Children’s Fund, The Investment Case for Education and Equity, accessed 3 April 2015.

United Nations Children’s Fund, National Studies: Global Out-of-School Children Initiative (OOSCI): India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, accessed 3 April 2015.

United Nations Children’s Fund, Promoting Care for Child Development in Community Health Services – a summary of the Pakistan Early Childhood Development Scale-Up Trial, 2013, accessed 3 April 2015.

United Nations Children’s Fund India, Quality in Early Childhood Care and Education – Pictorial Handbook for Practitioners, 2013, accessed 3 April 2015.

United Nations Children’s Fund Regional Office for South Asia, Meeting the Educational Needs of Children with Disabilities in Bhutan and the Maldives: A Gap Analysis, accessed 3 April 2015.

United Nations Children’s Fund Regional Office for South Asia, All children in School by 2015 – Global Initiative on Out-of-School Children – South Asia regional study covering Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, South Asia Study: Global Out-of-School Children Initiative (OOSCI), accessed 3 April 2015.

UNESCO: Global Education Monitoring Report 2016: Education for people and planet: The 2016 edition of the GEM Report provides valuable insight for governments and policy makers to monitor and accelerate progress towards SDG 4, building on the indicators and targets, with equity and inclusion as measures of overall success.

UNESCO Institute for Statistics: Sustainable Development Data Digest. Laying the Foundation to Measure Sustainable Development Goal 4 This report offers a roadmap for better measurement and it also documents how key targets and indicators were developed through a country-led process guided by a global and thematic expert and advisory group.

UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report: Leaving no one behind: How far on the way to universal primary and secondary education?

Education Violence Against Children in Education Settings in South Asia: A desk review April 2016
The desk review commissioned by the UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA) has found that many children in South Asia are exposed to different forms of violence and threats in schools and other educational settings.

UNICEF Report: The State of the World’s Children 2016

Educate All Girls and Boys in South Asia (UNICEF ROSA, 2015) - Finalized in September 2015, this brochure/fact sheet shows the latest data and forecasts on the out-of-school children in South Asia. It includes information and infographics on the number of OOSC in South Asia and the progress since 1999.

What are countries in South Asia doing to meet the learning needs of out-of-school children? (2015) - This paper was presented in the 2015 UKFIET Conference on Education and Development that was held in the Oxford University from 17-19 September 2015. The study documents specific policies and interventions in the four countries underway to ensure that all children have access to learning opportunities via the formal education system or via alternative pathways to education, and by strengthening the equity focus in education sector plans.

Effective Interventions Aimed at Reaching Out-of-School Children A Literature Review (2015, UNICEF ROSA) - This paper aggregates the academic literature reviewing and reporting interventions for out-of-school children (OOSC) around the world to serve as a guide for potential interventions in South Asia and elsewhere. It complements the Global Initiative on Out-of-School Children (OOSCI) South Asia Regional Study (2014).

Global Initiative on Out-of-School Children: South Asia Regional Study (January 2014, UNICEF ROSA) - based on the country reports from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, this report studies the situation of OOSC in South Asia.


Asma Akhter Akhi, Bangladesh

“I want to become a teacher”- Sajroon Khatun, 15, is a GATE graduate who is continuing her education in formal school.
© UNICEF Nepal/2015/SKLama

The Seventh Sister Steps into School
Out of school girls from traditionally marginalized communities enter into and excel in schools, as informal classes lay strong foundation for their education.
by Avinashi Paudel

Saptari, Nepal, 15 July 2015 - When Sajroon Khatun, 15, stepped into the 5th Grade classroom in Shree Mahendra Janata Higher Secondary School for the first time, there were many raised eyebrows in the school and the community. It was such an unprecedented step; because she was the first amongst her seven sisters to go to school and also because she had never been to a formal school before.

But the brows that were raised in doubt were soon raised in awe for her. Sajroon studied hard and proved her mettle by getting through 5th Grade, her first formal class, with flying colours.
This was all possible because of the foundation a nine-month-long non-formal class had laid in her life. Sajroon was amongst the 5,786 out of school girls aged 10-18 in the district who had benefitted from the UNICEF-supported Girl’s Access to Education (GATE) class providing education opportunity for those girls who were deprived from education due to poverty and the traditionally mandated restrictions on girls’ mobility. The GATE classes ran in a nearby Madarassa, where girls like Sajroon gathered every day for two hours to learn alphabets, numbers and various life skills. “Besides numbers and letters, I cherished the lessons on management of menstrual hygiene, sanitation and anti-trafficking measures,” says Sajroon.

Before she joined GATE classes, Sajroon used to spend her days herding goats and supporting her mother with the household chores. Sajroon’s mother, almost 55, is the sole bread earner of the family, as her father is sick and stays home. He mother goes door to door selling bangles. The family does not own any land or house.
Sajroon’s two older sisters also went to Gate classes, however they never graduated to regular school. Like the rest of her sisters, even those two were married off- without ever stepping into a school. All of them had to give in to the pressure of poverty and early marriage.

For Sajroon the GATE classes instilled such hunger for education in her heart, that she tried her best to convince her parents to send her to school. Her parents were ambivalent on the issue because the concept of a girl going to school was not only new in their family, but was also a rare phenomenon in their entire village. Seeing Sajroon’s regularity and consistency during GATE classes, GATE facilitator Sangita Shah always used to encourage Sajroon to enrol in a school, and used to often talk with Sajroon’s parents about the same. “They used to tell me ‘When we can hardly feed our daughter, how can we send her to school?’” recalls Sangita Shah. Finally it was the facilitator’s insistence that made Sajrron’s mother relent and agree to send her daughter to school. Sangita not only fought with Sajroon’s family but also with her community and the school to enrol her in the school.

At first teachers were sceptical about taking Sajroon in school because at the age of 14, all she had to show in terms of schooling were 2-hours classes, six days a week, for nine months. But Sangita challenged the teachers to test Sajroon’s calibre and then to enrol her in the appropriate class. Gutsy Sajroon appeared for the test and proved herself worthy of enrolment in the fifth grade.

“At first I was a little scared,” says Sajroon as she recalls her first day at school. “But gradually, I kept myself glued to the books and never missed a single class except during emergencies.” Rajendra Prasad Yadav, Sajroon’s maths teacher regards her as one of the most attentive students in the class and hopes she does not drop out of school. As for Sajroon, she wakes up early to finish her household chores, burns midnight oil studying and even works in others’ fields during holidays to help augment the family income. . But she never thinks about dropping out of school, come rain or shine. “Money can and will come later, but the opportunity for education will not,” she asserts Since Sajroon passed the fifth grade with good marks, her mother takes much pride in her and regrets for not sending her other daughters to school. Growing up seeing her parents grinding in poverty and girls of her village wallowing in illiteracy, Sajroon wants to change things when she grows up.
“I want to be a teacher, so that no girl remains uneducated in my village like my sisters,” says Sajroon. She is full of gratitude towards GATE classes and the facilitator for ushering her to the school. “My earning from teaching job will also help me serve my parents!”

UIS and UNICEF Out-of-School Children Initiative Global Report 2015.
UIS Online Data Center, August 2014 and February 2015.
UNICEF Bangladesh, India and Nepal Country Offi ce Annual Reports 2014.
UNICEF, Every Child Counts: The State of the World’s Children 2014 in Numbers, New York, accessed 3 April 2015.

1. Models using the annual rate of reduction to calculate future projections need to take into account a historical trend. The length of that period is a modelling choice. The method used here models the rate of out-of-school children, and the number of out-of-school children is then obtained by multiplying the rate with the estimated population figures for that age group, taken from UNPD 2015 revision. For primary school aged children, UNPD data shows an increase in the primary school age population until 2016, before it starts receding. In addition, in recent years primary out-of-school numbers for boys have been increasing. As a result, those two factors are the underlying reasons for the stagnation or slight increase in total OOSC numbers in recent years, and therefore it was decided that a 10-year annual rate of reduction, rather than five years would capture the expected overall slow decrease in primary out-of-school numbers more realistically.
2. For the lower secondary out-of-school children numbers, a five year annual rate of reduction was chosen, rather than the 10-year annual rate of reduction used for primary. This is because the upwards trend observed from 2007 to 2009 would tend to affect future projections and reduce ongoing observed progress made in recent years, especially for girls. Even though both modelling options were tested, the model using the five year annual rate of reduction was deemed to give a more accurate picture of the ongoing situation.
3. The five other headline results focus on saving newborns, stopping stunting, ending child marriage, stopping open defecation and eradicating polio. 2016 Progress Report.
4. Afghanistan Education Management Information System, MOE.
5. Data source: BBS MICS 2012-2013.
6. Data source: National Student Assessment.
7. Data from the “National Sample Survey of Estimation of Out-of-School Children in the Age 6-13 in India”, SRRI-IMRB International Report 2009 and 2014, which is a household survey commissioned by India’s Ministry of Human Resource and Development focusing on OOSC.
8. UNICEF. Global Goals for Every Child. 2015.