Out-of-school children

Calculation method

Subtract the number of primary school-age pupils enrolled in pre-primary, primary or secondary school from the total population of the official primary school age range.

 

Data required

Population of the official primary school age range and number of pupils of primary school age enrolled in pre-primary, primary or secondary school.

 

Interpretation

The higher the number of out-of-school children, the greater the need to focus on achieving universal primary education. Some children of primary school-age who have never been in school may or may not eventually enrol as late entrants. Other children may have initially enrolled but dropped out before reaching the ‘official’ age of primary completion. When disaggregated by geographical location, this indicator can identify areas needing the greatest efforts. Policies can also focus efforts on priority population groups or a particular gender.

Limitations

Discrepancies between enrolment and population data coming from different sources may not give the exact magnitude of out-of-school children.

Purpose

To identify the size of the population in the official primary school age range who should be targeted for policies and efforts in achieving universal primary education.

Data source

School register, school survey or census for enrolment; population census or estimates.

Quality standards

Enrolment count should include in all types of schools and education institutions, including public, private and all other institutions that provide organized educational programmes.

Types of disaggregation

By sex.

Definition

Children in the official primary school age range who are not enrolled in pre-primary, primary or secondary schools.