Today, 28 million or over 40 percent of all children out of school (67 million worldwide) live in countries affected by conflict, although these countries are home to only 116 million or 18 percent of the global population of primary school age (653 million) (see Figure 1). (Only out-of-school children in low and lower-middle income conflict-affected countries were counted to arrive at the total of 28 million. In addition, for large countries like India, Indonesia, Nigeria and Pakistan, only children living in conflict-affected areas were included in the 28 million children affected by conflict.) In conflict areas, the out-of-school rate is around 24 percent, compared to 7 percent in other parts of the world. Children affected by armed conflict are thus more than three times as likely to be out of school as other children.
Conflict-affected countries also have some of the lowest levels of literacy. In these countries, only 79 percent of youth between 15 and 24 years and 69 percent of adults are literate, compared to 93 percent of youth and 85 percent of adults in other countries.
War does not only destroy lives and schools, it also diverts resources from education to military spending. The Global Monitoring Report documents how lack of access to education or exposure to the wrong kind of education can contribute to persistent inequality, prejudice and renewed armed conflict, a vicious cycle that is difficult to break.
Lastly, the Global Monitoring Report 2011 examines the role of development assistance in conflict-affected countries and argues for increased and more effective aid for the education sector.
Figure 1: Population of primary school age and children out of school in countries affected and not affected by armed conflict, 2008
Source: UNESCO 2011, pages 132, 308, 309; author's calculations.
- UNESCO. 2011. EFA Global Monitoring Report 2011: The hidden crisis: Armed conflict and education. Paris: UNESCO. (Download in PDF format, 6.4 MB)
- EFA Global Monitoring Report website
- Announcement of the EFA Global Monitoring Report 2011 on the World Education Blog by the EFA GMR team
- Announcement of the EFA Global Monitoring Report 2011 on the website of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics
- EFA Global Monitoring Report 2010
- EFA Global Monitoring Report 2009
- EFA Global Monitoring Report 2008
- Global Education Digest 2010
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