20 July 2015

124 million out-of-school children in 2013

New estimates by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) show that approximately 124 million children and adolescents were out of school in 2013. Of this number, 59 million were of primary school age and 65 million were of lower secondary school age. The entrance ages and durations of primary and lower secondary education vary between countries, but primary school age is typically 6-11 years and lower secondary school age is typically 12-15 years.

The estimate for 2013 represents a decrease by 72 million from 2000, when about 196 million children and adolescents were out of school (see Figure 1). Most of this decrease occurred between 2000 and 2007 but since 2007 there has been hardly any progress in reducing the global out-of-school population. In the most recent period there was even a slight increase in the number of out-of-school children and adolescents.

Figure 1: Global number of out-of-school children, 2000-2013

Data source: UNESCO Institute for Statistics

The primary and lower secondary out-of-school rates in 2013 - the percentage of children in these age groups who were not enrolled in primary or secondary education - were 9% and 17%, respectively (see Figure 2). Adolescents of lower secondary school age were thus nearly twice as likely to be out of school as children of primary school age. For the combined population of primary and lower secondary age the out-of-school rate was 12% in 2013.

The trend in the out-of-school rate mirrors the evolution of the number of out-of-school children and adolescents. In 2000, the primary out-of-school rate was 15% and the lower secondary out-of-school rate was 25%. Like the number of out-of-school children, the out-of-school rate fell steadily until 2007 and has remained at nearly the same level since then.

In spite of the lack of progress towards lower out-of-school rates and numbers in recent years, the gap between boys and girls has continued to decrease. At the global level, girls are still more likely to be out of school than boys but the difference between the female and male out-of-school rates fell between 2000 and 2013 from 6 percentage points to 2 percentage points for primary-age children and from 5 percentage points to 1 percentage point for lower-secondary-age adolescents.

Figure 2: Global rate of out-of-school children, 2000-2013

Data source: UNESCO Institute for Statistics

Because of the lag between the collection of national enrollment figures and the release of global out-of-school estimates by the UIS the number of out-of-school children and adolescents in 2015 is not yet known. Nevertheless, it is already clear that the Education for All goal and Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education by 2015 cannot be reached.

A joint fact sheet by the UIS and the Education for All Global Monitoring Report contains more detailed analysis of the most recent out-of-school data and explains that current international aid for primary and secondary education is insufficient, especially for the world's poorest countries.

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Friedrich Huebler, 20 July 2015, Creative Commons License
Permanent URL: http://huebler.blogspot.com/2015/07/oos.html

28 June 2015

Unicode version of programs to integrate Stata and external text editors

I am pleased to announce a new version of the rundo and rundolines programs for integrating Stata with an external text editor. Version 5.0 of rundo and rundolines supports Unicode and is fully compatible with Stata 14, released in April 2015. Support for Unicode was one of the new features of Stata 14. The user guide for the rundo and rundolines programs has also been revised.

With this announcement I am withdrawing version 4.2 of rundo and rundolines, which I had released in April 2015. Version 4.2 could be used with Stata 14 but did not support Unicode. Users of Stata 14 should install rundo or rundolines version 5.0. Users of Stata 13.1 and older versions of Stata should install rundo or rundolines version 4.1 from December 2013. All versions are available on the page dedicated to rundo and rundolines.

Stata/SE 14.0 program window
Stata/SE 14.0 program window

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Friedrich Huebler, 28 June 2015, Creative Commons License
Permanent URL: http://huebler.blogspot.com/2015/06/stata.html

31 May 2015

Mean years of schooling in Nepal

On 25 April 2015, Nepal was struck by a severe earthquake that killed more than 8,800 people. Nepal is one of the world's poorest countries, with a gross national income (GNI) per capita of US$730 in 2013, similar to Afghanistan and Burkina Faso. Of 187 countries on the Human Development Index (HDI) 2014, Nepal was at position 145.

The rank of Nepal on the HDI is partly determined by the low level of education of its population. According to the Human Development Report 2014, the population 25 years and older of Nepal had on average 3.2 years of schooling in 2012.

This article takes a closer look at the level of education of the population of Nepal, based on an analysis of data from a 2011 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS). The DHS collected information on the highest grade of school completed for all household members 3 years and older, which can be used to calculate the years of schooling of individuals and the average years of schooling of the entire population or specific sub-groups. According to the DHS data, the population 25 years and older in Nepal has on average 3.3 years of schooling (Figure 1). The duration of primary education in Nepal is 5 years, which means that the average adult 25 years and older has less than completed primary education.

Urban residents have nearly twice as many years of schooling as rural residents, with 5.7 and 2.9 years respectively. There is a strong correlation between mean years of schooling and household wealth. Persons 25 years and older from the poorest household quintile have only 1.1 years of schooling on average, compared to 6.6 years in the richest quintile.

Figure 1: Mean years of schooling, population 25 years and older, Nepal 2011

Data source: Nepal Demographic and Health Survey, 2011.

Figure 1 also presents data for the development regions and ecological zones of Nepal. The country is administratively divided into five development regions (Far-Western, Mid-Western, Western, Central, and Eastern), 14 administrative zones, and 75 districts. The country is also divided into three ecological zones: Mountain, Hills and Terai. The development regions and ecological zones are shown in Figure 2. The epicenter of the April 2015 earthquake was in the Lamjung district in the Western development region. The capital Kathmandu, which was also severely affected by the earthquake, is in the Central development region.

The population in the Far-Western and Western development regions has 2.6 mean years of schooling, below the national average of 3.3 years. The population of the Western, Central and Eastern development regions is at or slightly above the national average. Residents of the Mountain zone have on average 2.2 years of schooling, while those in the Hill and Terai zone have 3.5 and 3.3 years, respectively.

Gender disparity in educational attainment affects all regions and sub-groups of the population in Figure 1. At the national level, women 25 years and older have only 2.2 years of schooling on average, compared to 4.6 years among men. There is a large gap between the mean years of schooling of men and women in both rural and urban areas of Nepal. Women from the poorest household quintile have only 0.5 mean years of schooling, less than any other group in Figure 1; men in the poorest quintile have 1.9 years of schooling. In the richest quintile, women have on average 6.2 years of schooling, compared to 8.1 years for men. Gender disparity is also present in all development regions and ecological zones.

Figure 2: Development regions, districts, and ecological zones of Nepal

Source: United Nations Nepal Information Platform, retrieved May 2015.

A comparison of different age groups reveals that in spite of the low average years of schooling Nepal has made impressive progress over the past decades. Younger cohorts have without exception more years of schooling than older cohorts (Figure 3). 20- to 24-year-olds have on average 6.9 years of schooling, compared to less than 1 year of schooling among those 65 years and older. In rural areas those 20-24 years old have on average 6.5 years of schooling and those in urban areas 8.5 years. The poorest residents of Nepal are still very much behind those from wealthier segments of the population but even here there has been an improvement among younger generations. 20- to 24-year-olds from the poorest quintile have on average 3.6 years of schooling. In the richest quintile, those aged 20-24 years have 9.6 years of schooling on average, more than any other group in Figure 3.

Figure 3: Mean years of schooling by age group, Nepal 2011

Data source: Nepal Demographic and Health Survey, 2011.

The disparity between women and men in younger cohorts is also far smaller than among older cohorts. Figure 4 shows two indicators of gender disparity. The difference between the mean years of schooling of men and women is plotted against the left vertical axis. Nationwide, 20- to 24-year-old women have on average 1.9 fewer years of schooling than men in the same age group.The biggest absolute gap is observed in the poorest household quintile; here, women 20-24 years have on average 2.8 fewer years of schooling than men. The smallest difference between male and female years of schooling, 0.7 years, is observed among 20- to 24-year-olds in the richest quintile.

A second indicator of gender disparity, female mean years of schooling as a percentage of male mean years of schooling, is plotted against the right vertical axis of Figure 4. At gender parity, this value is around 100%. In all groups in Figure 4, younger women are approaching the average years of schooling of men in the same age group. In Nepal as a whole, 20- to 24-year-old women have on average 76% of the years of schooling of their male peers. In the richest quintile, the youngest women have reached 93% of the years of schooling of men in the same age group. By contrast, young women from the poorest household quintile have only half the years of schooling of young men.

Over time, the increasing educational attainment among younger age groups will be reflected in the mean years of schooling of the entire population 25 years and older. Similarly, the gap between men and women will shrink. However, those in poor households and residents of certain regions - especially the Far-Western and Mid-Western region and the mountain zone - are lagging behind other parts of Nepal.

Figure 4: Gender disparity in mean years of schooling by age group, Nepal 2011

Data source: Nepal Demographic and Health Survey, 2011.

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Friedrich Huebler, 31 May 2015, Creative Commons License
Permanent URL: http://huebler.blogspot.com/2015/05/nepal.html

25 April 2015

EFA Global Monitoring Report 2015

The Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2015 was published by UNESCO on 9 April 2015. The title of this year's edition of the EFA GMR is Education for All 2000-2015: Achievements and Challenges”.

2015 is the target year for the six Education for All goals, as well as the eight Millennium Development Goals. The GMR takes stock of progress since 2000 and points out that in spite of substantial improvement in all areas of education many countries are likely to miss one or more of the EFA goals. The reference year for the report is 2012, the most recent year with data for most countries and regions at the time the report was prepared, but the GMR also makes some use of projections.

  • Goal 1: Expanding and improving comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children: 47% of countries reached the goal but 20% of countries are very far from the goal.
  • Goal 2: Ensuring that by 2015 all children, particularly girls, children in difficult circumstances and those belonging to ethnic minorities, have access to, and complete, free and compulsory primary education of good quality: 52% of countries achieved this goal, 38% of countries are far from the goal.
  • Goal 3: Ensuring that the learning needs of all young people and adults are met through equitable access to appropriate learning and life-skills programmes: 47% of countries have reached universal lower secondary enrolment.
  • Goal 4: Achieving a 50 per cent improvement in levels of adult literacy by 2015, especially for women, and equitable access to basic and continuing education for all adults: Only 25% of countries reached this goal, 32% of countries are very far from the goal.
  • Goal 5: Eliminating gender disparities in primary and secondary education by 2005, and achieving gender equality in education by 2015, with a focus on ensuring girls’ full and equal access to and achievement in basic education of good quality: The GMR estimates that 69% of countries will achieve gender parity in primary education by 2015, and 48% of countries will reach the goal in secondary education.
  • Goal 6: Improving all aspects of the quality of education and ensuring excellence of all so that recognized and measurable learning outcomes are achieved by all, especially in literacy, numeracy and essential life skills: The pupil-teacher ratio fell in 121 of 146 countries between 1990 and 2012 but there are still not enough teachers for all children in and out of school.

The GMR also presents important lessons for international goals in the area of education for the post-2015 period.

Reference

  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). 2015. Education for All 2000-2015: Achievements and Challenges - EFA Global Monitoring Report 2015. Paris: UNESCO. Download in PDF format (6.8 MB).

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Friedrich Huebler, 25 April 2015, Creative Commons License
Permanent URL: http://huebler.blogspot.com/2015/04/gmr.html

18 April 2015

Updated programs and guide to integrating Stata and external text editors

The rundo and rundolines programs for integrating Stata with an external text editor were updated to version 4.2. The programs are now compatible with Stata 14, released in April 2015. The user guide for the rundo and rundolines programs was also revised.

Stata/SE 14.0 program window
Stata/SE 14.0 program window

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Friedrich Huebler, 18 April 2015, Creative Commons License
Permanent URL: http://huebler.blogspot.com/2015/04/stata.html