Education is integral to the inclusive, peaceful and sustained development of a society. If education is equitable and of good quality, it can ensure the participation of marginalised groups in the development process more broadly, thereby reducing social inequalities. Without attention paid to equitable access, learning opportunities and quality learning outcomes, education can entrench existing inequalities within societies. To create more inclusive and just societies, it is thus crucial to leave no one behind (LNOB) in education.
While the right to education is recognised as a universal human right, an estimated 262 million school-age children, adolescents and youth (between 6 and 17 years) were denied this right in 2017. This means one in every five school-age children, adolescents and youth are out of school. At primary school level, some 64 million 6 to 11-year old children are not in school. Some 61 million adolescents aged 12 to 14 years are not enrolled in lower secondary school. At upper secondary school level, some 139 million youth between the ages of 15 to 17 are out of school. These figures are increasing as the fast growing youth population, particularly in least developed countries, is adding pressure on already weak education systems.
This publication was produced as part of the Poverty, Politics, and Participatory Methodologies in SDC project.