Photo: Latin American Children Need to be in School
Over 22 million boys, girls and adolescents in Latin America and the Caribbean are not in school or are at serious risk of dropping out, according to a new United Nations report, which calls for a joint effort across sectors to ensure that all children can complete their education.
The report, “Finishing School. A Right for Children’s Development: A Joint Effort”, says there are some 117 million boys, girls and adolescents in the preschool, primary and basic secondary education age groups in the region, 6.5 million of whom do not attend school.
The report, presented by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), adds that 15.6 million of these young people attend school carrying the burden of failure and inequality expressed in either a lag of two years of more behind the normal age for their school grade or a record of grade repetition.
The report also stresses that boys, girls and adolescents from indigenous, Afro-descendant or disabled groups, or those living in rural areas, are at greater risk of exclusion or grade repetition. The data showed that in some countries less than 50 per cent of the secondary school-age population in rural areas is attending school.
There is also a clear link between the element of child labor and school attendance – students aged between 12 and 14 years who are at work, many of whom are receiving schooling, showed lower rates of attendance than those who do not work.