Turning the Spotlight on Those Left Behind to Mark the First International Day of Education

By Manos Antoninis, Director of the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report and Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics

On the first International Day of Education, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) and the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report announce a new partnership to demonstrate education inequalities and show those lagging behind in achieving the global UN education goal, SDG 4.

The GEM Report and the UIS have worked together to improve the data available in the World Inequality Database on Education (WIDE), highlighting disparities in education access, participation and attainment that hide behind average statistics.  The database brings together data from Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) and other national household surveys and learning assessments from over 160 countries.

Users can compare education outcomes between countries, and between groups within countries, according to factors associated with inequality, including sex, location, wealth and ethnicity.

The new data released today highlight the need for urgent action to reduce inequalities, which should be high on the agendas of countries and development partners.

  • The poorest children and youth are less than half as likely to complete primary school as the richest children and youth, less than a quarter as likely to complete lower secondary school, and one-tenth as likely to complete upper secondary school in low-income countries.
  • Children in rural areas are over twice as likely to be out of school as children living in urban areas  in low-income countries

 The database shows that children who face multiple disadvantages face the biggest challenges:

  • Only 2% of the poorest girls in low-income countries complete upper secondary school.

On the first ever International Day of Education, this resource is intended to keep countries’ attention focused on the gaps they need to close to fulfil their commitments to inclusive and equitable education for all, a priority running through the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Explore countries’ inequalities, and share the information with your networks.  

Leave a comment