Tunisia

Tunisia - Country Report on Out-of-School Children - Summary [EN/AR]

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OVERVIEW

The last decade has seen some progress. Pre-primary out-of-school rates have decreased, although they remain high, and primary rates have fallen to nearly zero. However, there has been no improvement at the lower secondary level.

In total, 119,022 children are out of school (7%), including 54,6095-year-olds who should be in pre-primary (30.3%), 15,033 primary school aged children (1.5%)and 49,380 lower secondary school aged children (10%).

At particular risk of being excluded from school are: poor children, children in rural areas, disabled children and children whose mothers have little or no education.

BARRIERS AND BOTTLENECKS

Poverty, especially when children are obliged to work.

Poor school conditions, including lack of access to drinking water, internet and paved roads.

Languages of instruction in math and science differ between school levels, causing difficulty in learning.

Low quality of education, which means children can finish six years of basic education without acquiring basic skills.

POLICIES AND STRATEGIES

A 2002 law has made one year of pre-primary universal and introduced support programmes for children with difficulties at school.

The Ministry of Education, Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of the Interior and Ministry of Culture partners with a local NGO to provide school buses for children and cultural activities to prevent school dropout.

Multiple national programmes like PASS (school and social support programme, which will evolve into a unified Centre for pupils' support), PEP (Priority Education Programme) and ISEH (school inclusion of children with disabilities) are helping students stay in school and succeed.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Inject massive investment into pre-school education to create infrastructure, standardize programmes, train educators and make places free and accessible to all.
  • Improve quality at all levels through multiple interventions including teacher training, improved facilities, standardized programmes, better grading systems, increased support for weaker and disabled students and provision of better transport and school food options.
  • Refocus on technical and vocational education.
  • Improve governance though greater decentralization, increased collaboration among stakeholders and more effective collection and use of data.