72 million children still do not have access to even a basic education.
Globally, 570 million children are enrolled in school. The number of children of primary school age who were out of school fell from 103 million in 1999 to 73 million in 2006. In that year, primary school enrollment in developing countries reached 88 per cent on average, up from 83 per cent in 2000.
In sub-Saharan Africa, the net primary school enrollment ratio has only recently reached 71 per cent, even after a significant jump in enrollment that began in 2000. Around 38 million children of primary school age in this region are still out of school.
Of the 113 countries that failed to achieve gender parity in primary and secondary school enrollment by the target date of 2005, only 18 are likely to achieve the goal by 2015.
Girls account for 55 per cent of the out-of-school population.
In some less developed countries, children in the poorest 20 per cent of the population are three times less likely to be enrolled in primary school than children from the wealthiest 20 per cent. In 2007, girls accounted for 54 per cent of the world’s out-of-school population.
Sub-Saharan Africa has the largest number of children out of school, and two thirds of them will probably never enroll.
The number of children of primary school age who are out of school has dropped by 33 million since 1999. Still, 72 million children worldwide were denied the right to education in 2007. Almost half of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa.