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80 % world children enrolled up to Class 8
May 02, 2005 23:43 IST
Four out of every five of the world's children aged between 10 and 15 are today enrolled in lower secondary education up to Class 8, which is now considered as part of compulsory education in most countries.
The Global Education Digest 2005 released by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation shows that secondary education was expanding rapidly worldwide, with enrolments increasing from 321 million in 1990 to 492 million in 2002/03.
The fastest growth has occurred in South America, which, along with Europe, now enjoys the world's highest gross enrolment ratio at the secondary education level, at almost 100 per cent, the report released last week said.
At the upper secondary level, the global gross enrolment ratios stand at only 51 per cent. Europe is the exception, with enrolment rates exceeding 100 per cent, due to young people enrolling in multiple programmes. The enrolment ratio is lowest in Africa, with only 29 per cent of young adults in upper secondary education, it said.
The gender parity on entry to lower secondary education has been reached in 60 out of 133 countries reporting data.
In 46 countries, most of them in Africa and Asia, girls are less likely to enter lower secondary school than boys.
Despite the regional differences, the overall trend is one of strong, continuing growth at secondary level and improving gender parity in most countries, fuelled by increasing demand and facilitated by a slow-down in world population growth, the report added.