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More resources and fresh policies needed to get children into school
BEIRUT, Lebanon, 15 April 2015 – Despite impressive progress in raising school enrolment over the past decade, one in every four children and young adolescents (more than 21 million) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are either out of school or at risk of dropping out.
Out of school rates for primary school children have nearly halved since 2000 and there has also been a slower, but significant, decline at the lower secondary level. Despite this, out-of-school rates at all levels remain high, particularly at the pre-primary level, where coverage is almost negligible.
In total in 2012, 87,399 children were out of school from pre-primary to lower secondary, including 34,739 primary school aged children (37%) and 33,651 lower secondary school aged children (48%).
In the last decade, the countries of the Middle East and North Africa have invested considerable resources and political capital to bring more children into the classroom.
Most impressively, out-of-school rates for primary school children have plummeted, often by as much as half, bringing hope and new opportunity to millions.