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Almost 50pc of Afghan children out of school: UN

Almost 50pc of Afghan children out of school: UN

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Jun 03, 2018 - 12:23

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): About 3.7 million Afghan children are out of school due to the on-going conflict, grinding poverty and discrimination against girls, an UN agency said on Sunday.

In a new report, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Almost half of Afghan children aged between seven and 17 were not going to school. For the first time since 2002, the out-of-school rate has gone up.

Titled Global Initiative on Out-of-School Children, the report indicates persistent discrimination against girls is a major factor driving down school attendance.

Girls make up 60 percent of those being denied an educationinfo-icon, putting them at a particular disadvantage. Up to 85 per cent of girls are not going to school in Kandahar, Helmand, Wardak, Paktika, Zabul and Uruzgan.

Displacement, child marriage, a lack of female teachers, poor school facilities, poverty and insecurity were listed as main factors behind children, especially girls, not going to school.

At the same time, however, the study also noted some positive developments, including a decline in dropout rates. It said 85 per cent of boys and girls who started at the primary level managed to complete all grades.

UNICEF Representative Adele Khodr was quoted as saying: “Business as usual is not an option for Afghanistaninfo-icon if we are to fulfill the right to education for every child.

“When children are not in school, they are at an increased danger of abuse, exploitation and recruitment,” she added, commending Kabul for declaring 2018 as the year of education. “Now is the time for a renewed commitment, to provide girls and boys with the relevant learning opportunities they need to progress in life and to play a positive role in societyinfo-icon,” she stressed.

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