India made impressive progress in providing primary education: UN report

While India has continued to make impressive progress in giving primary education to its children, it has struggled to achieve similar results in lower secondary education, a UN study said. 

According to a recent study done by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the Education for All Global Monitoring Report (EFRGMR), 124 million children and adolescents are now out of school while international aid to education continues to remain below 2010 levels.

 In 2011, over 16 million adolescents were not enrolled in lower secondary schools in India, while other countries, including Bangladesh, Pakistan, Mexico, Indonesia, and the Syrian Arab Republic had over 1 million out-of- secondary-school kids. 

However, the report praised India for its effort to enhance education level in the country. It said that India is providing financial assistance to specially-abled children to ensure they attend mainstream
schools. In addition, the government is establishing resource centres to support schools and train teachers on exclusive programs.

India currently has the highest number of out-of-school adolescents. Despite a significant rise in aid for secondary education, which was increased from $21 million to $232 million from 2012 to 2013, there has been little improvement in its secondary education.

The report added that India had over 1.7 million out-of-school kids of primary school age in 2012, and at least one million children were denied the right to education in India, besides Pakistan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Kenya, Nigeria and South Sudan.

UNESCO’s Director General Irina Bokova emphasised that unless all countries showed serious commitments towards their education sector – by taking new initiatives and increasing education aids – the agenda set by the international community of providing 12 years of free and equitable access to quality education, will be difficult to accomplish.

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