Total net attendance rate

Definition

Total number of students of the official age group for a given level of education who are attending school at any level of education, expressed as a percentage of the corresponding population

Data source

The total net attendance rate can be calculated with data from international household survey programmes, such as the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) and the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS), national surveys or population censuses.

Calculation method

Divide the total number of students in the official school age range for the given level of education who are attending school at any level of education by the population of the same age group and multiply the result by 100

Data required

Data by single year of age from household surveys on school attendance in all levels of education. Population of the official age group for the given level of education.

Interpretation

The difference between the total NAR and the adjusted NAR provides a measure of the proportion of children in the official relevant school age group who are attending levels of education below the one intended for their age. The difference between the total NAR and the adjusted NAR for primary education is due to attendance of pre-primary education. The difference between the total NAR and the adjusted NAR for lower secondary education is due to attendance in of pre-primary or primary education.

Limitations

As other net rates, the total NAR is affected by the use of different reference points for age for attendance and the population. Treatment of missing data. All observations with missing information on age, whether the child is currently attending school, and the current education level attended, are omitted from the calculation of education indicators.

Purpose

To measure the actual school participation of the official school age population for a given level of education.

Quality standards

ISCED recalculation of household survey data for education indicators. The age ranges associated with the education levels are based on the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED). The education levels and grades used in the calculation of education indicators are consistent with each country’s ISCED mapping. Age data methodology. The data collection period for international household survey programmes like the DHS and MICS may not be aligned with the academic year. This can create distortions in the age data used to calculate education indicators. Education systems generally define the intended or “official” ages for a given level of education based on the age of the child at the beginning of the academic year. In other words, the reference date for ages is the start month of the academic year. By contrast, household surveys may collect data on the educational status and age of children many months after the start of the school year. The reference date for age information is the date the survey data were collected, which means it varies among households. Considering the gap between the start of the school year for which attendance data are collected and the date on which the survey was carried out is crucial for accurate calculations of education indicators. To minimize the associated error, the UIS takes different measures depending on the number of months between the start of the academic reference year and the time of survey data collection. • Where information is available on the birth month and year of school-age children, age data are recoded to the age at the start of the academic reference year. • If only the age in years is available, and data for the majority of observations were collected 6 or more months after the start of the school year, one full year is subtracted from the age recorded during data collection (adjusted age = recorded age – 1). For example, if the school year starts on 1 September and data for the majority of observations were collected in March of the following year or later, the ages will be adjusted. • If only the age in years is available, and data for the majority of observations were collected 5 months or less after the start of the school year, age data are used as recorded. For example, if the school year starts on 1 September and data for the majority of observations were collected during the period up to February of the following year, the recorded ages are used without adjustment.

Types of disaggregation

Data from household surveys are usually disaggregated by sex, location and household wealth quintile. The location (urban or rural) is defined according to national standards, which may differ across countries. Household wealth quintiles are usually determined with the help of an asset index, calculated from assets owned by individual households (housing material, water and sanitation, appliances, vehicles, livestock, etc.)