General News of Friday, 1 December 2006
Accra: About 1.357 million children in Ghana do not go to school, which is the seventh largest quantity of such children in a country, the Education for All (EFA) global monitoring report 2007 has pointed out.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNICEF) released the report on Thursday.
The report places Nigeria at number one with 8.11 million out-of-school children, Pakistan at second place with 6.463 million, India at third with 4.583 million, Ethiopia at fourth with 3.615 million, Saudi Arabia at fifth with 1.630 million, Mozambique at sixth with 1.089 million, Ghana at seventh with 1.357 million, Niger at eighth with 1.326 million, Burkina Faso at ninth with 1.271 million, Kenya at 10th with 1.225 million, Cote d’ Ivoire at 11th with 1.223 million and Mali at number 12 with 1.172 million out-of-school children.
The report contains data for the EFA Development Index for 2004 which showed that 23 million out of the total 77 million out-of-school children are in Nigeria, Pakistan, India and Ethiopia.
In 2000, the international community committed to the EFA and set six targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to be achieved by 2015. To ensure that all children go to school and to achieve gender equality in education by 2015 are included in the targets.
All children of school-going age must be enrolled in schools by 2009 if the targets are to be achieved. In 2004, some 682 million children were enrolled in primary schools, 27 percent of them were in the Sub-Saharan Africa, 19 percent in South and West Asia and six percent in Arab States, said the report. The report compared the estimated number of primary-school aged children with administrative data on schools’ enrolment in 2004.
UNICEF suggested governments to understand who these kids were before formulating policies to reduce their number. Household surveys have provided data for 80 countries on the background of out-of-school children. staff report