By Jo Bourne, Associate Director and Global Chief of Education, Programme Division, UNICEF, and Albert Motivans, Head of Education Statistics, UNESCO Institute for Statistics.
It is time for a dose of pragmatism: 121 million children and young adolescents are out of school and we do not stand a chance of reaching them by continuing to pursue a one-size-fits-all approach to education.
The optimism of ‘build more schools and they shall come’ will not reach refugees, children who work, children who face discrimination based on gender, ethnicity or disability. Even worse, building more schools will not help the estimated 130 million children who fail to learn basic reading and maths skills despite reaching grade 4.
Simply expanding educational systems has clearly failed to reach all children. As the international community works to establish new development goals, it will be imperative to focus on the children who were left behind.
We believe that robust…
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