30 June 2014

Out-of-school children and adolescents, 2000-2012

The Education for All goal and Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education by 2015 is the most prominent international goal in the field of education. Over the past years it has become increasingly apparent that the world will not reach this goal by the target year. New statistics, released by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics on 26 June, confirm that the number of out-of-school children has remained at nearly the same level since 2007.

In 2012, the latest year with data, an estimated 58 million children of primary school age (typically between 6 and 11 years) were out of school, representing 9% of the global population in this age group. Between 2000 and 2007, the global number of out-of-school children fell from 100 million to 60 million in 2007, but since then there has been virtually no progress towards universal primary education (see Figure 1).

30 million out-of-school children, more than half of the global total in 2012, lived in sub-Saharan Africa. A further 10 million lived in South and West Asia, a reduction by more than two thirds from the 34 million out-of-school children in this region in 2000. 18 million children of primary school age were out of school in the remaining regions in 2012.

Girls account for the majority (53%) of the global out-of-school population, mainly due to gender disparities in sub-Saharan Africa, where 13 million boys and nearly 17 million girls were not in school in 2012.

Figure 1: Out-of-school children of primary school age, 2000-2012

Data source: UNESCO Institute for Statistics, June 2014.

In addition to the 58 million out-of-school children of primary school age, 63 million adolescents of lower secondary school age were not in school in 2012. This number is equivalent to 17% of the global population of lower secondary school age, typically between 12 and 15 years. In 2000, the global number of out-of-school adolescents was 97 million. Similar to the number of out-of-school children of primary school age, the number of out-of-school adolescents of lower secondary school age decreased steadily between 2000 and 2007, but since then progress has been much slower (see Figure 2).

South and West Asia had the largest number of out-of-school adolescents in 2012, 26 million, followed by sub-Saharan Africa with 21 million and the rest of the world with 15 million. In contrast to the gender disparity observed among the out-of-school population of primary school age, the global population of out-of-school adolescents in 2012 was 50% male and 50% female.

Figure 2: Out-of-school adolescents of lower secondary school age, 2000-2012

Data source: UNESCO Institute for Statistics, June 2014.

For additional information on out-of-school children and adolescents, read the policy paper Progress in getting all children to school stalls but some countries show the way forward, published jointly by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics and the Education for All Global Monitoring Report in June 2014.

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Friedrich Huebler, 30 June 2014, Creative Commons License
Permanent URL: http://huebler.blogspot.com/2014/06/oos.html

23 February 2014

EFA Global Monitoring Report 2013/4

The Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2013/4 was published by UNESCO on 29 January 2014. The title of this latest edition of the EFA GMR is Teaching and learning: Achieving quality for all.

The report calls attention to the fact that none of the six Education for All goals will be achieved at the global level by the 2015 target year, including the goal of universal primary education (goal 2).

  • Goal 1: Expanding and improving comprehensive early childhood care and education, especially for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

In addition to the tens of millions of children who remain excluded from education, millions more who attend school suffer from a poor quality of education. The EFA GMR 2013/4 emphasizes that teachers are the key to improving education quality and proposes several strategies to achieve good quality education for all.

Reference

  • UNESCO. 2014. EFA Global Monitoring Report 2013/4 - Teaching and learning: Achieving quality for all. Paris: UNESCO. (Download in PDF format, 13.8 MB)

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Friedrich Huebler, 23 February 2014 (edited 9 March 2014), Creative Commons License
Permanent URL: http://huebler.blogspot.com/2014/02/gmr.html

31 January 2014

Mean years of schooling in Burkina Faso

In Burkina Faso, the population aged 25 years and older had on average 0.9 years of education in 2007, less than any other country for which the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) released estimates of mean years of schooling in December 2013.

The educational attainment of different age cohorts in Burkina Faso can also be examined with data from a Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) conducted in 2010. On average, persons aged 25 years and older in the DHS sample attended school for 1.4 years, slightly more than in the UIS data from 2007. The DHS data show a significant gender gap, with men having on average nearly twice as many years of schooling as women (1.9 years versus 1 year).

However, the disparity between men and women in Burkina Faso is not nearly as large as the disparity between the urban and rural population. In urban areas, the average number of years of education is 4.1 years, compared to 0.5 years in rural areas. Urban women have 11 times as many years of schooling as rural women (3.3 years versus 0.3 years). For men, mean years of schooling is 5.0 in urban areas and 0.7 in rural areas.

Mean years of schooling of the population 25 years and older, Burkina Faso, 2010
Total Male Female
Total 1.4 1.9 1.0
Urban 4.1 5.0 3.3
Rural 0.5 0.7 0.3
Source: Burkina Faso Demographic and Health Survey 2010.

The DHS data can also be used to compare the educational attainment of different age groups. The figure below visualizes mean years of schooling by five-year age group, from persons aged 20-24 years to those aged 70-74 years and 75 years and older. The graph is divided into nine segments with data for the total, male and female population of Burkina Faso, as well as the total, male and female population of urban and rural areas of the country. The blue line in each segment indicates the mean years of schooling by age group for the respective population group. In addition, each segment of the graph shows the lines for the other eight segments in light gray to make it easier to compare the data for the different groups.

One common feature across all population groups is that younger generations have more formal schooling than older generations, reflecting an expansion of access to education over time. In the total population, mean years of schooling increased from 0.1 years among those 75 years and older to 2.9 years among 20- to 24-year-olds. The biggest growth is observed among urban men: for this group, mean years of schooling is 0.8 years in the oldest cohort and 7.2 years among those aged 20-24 years. Rural women have traditionally been least likely to attend school but even here there is an upward trend: rural women 75 years and older have on average 0 years of schooling whereas rural women aged 20-24 years have on average 0.9 years of schooling.

In conclusion, although the average level of education in Burkina Faso is very low, the situation is improving over time because children are more likely to attend school today than in previous decades. At the same time, the population of rural areas continues to be at a distinct disadvantage and lack of access to education is especially widespread among rural women.

Mean years of schooling by five-year age group, Burkina Faso, 2010 (click image to enlarge)

Source: Burkina Faso Demographic and Health Survey 2010.

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Friedrich Huebler, 31 January 2014 (edited 4 February 2014), Creative Commons License
Permanent URL: http://huebler.blogspot.com/2014/01/mys.html

28 December 2013

Mean years of schooling

Mean years of schooling (MYS), the average number of completed years of education of a population, is a widely used measure of a country's stock of human capital. Since 2010, MYS is used as one of two education indicators (the second education indicator is the school life expectancy) in the calculation of the Human Development Index (HDI) (UNDP, 2010).

A well-known data set with estimates of MYS was developed by Robert Barro and Jong-Wha Lee, two pioneers in this field of work. In 1993, Barro and Lee published an article describing their data set, which was partly derived from data on educational attainment by the Division of Statistics of UNESCO. Barro and Lee continue to update their data set, which is available at their website.

In December 2013, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), the successor of the Division of Statistics of UNESCO, published its first estimates of MYS of the population aged 25 years and older. This indicator, used in the calculation of the HDI, had previously not been available in the database of the UIS. The UIS methodology is based on the approach by Barro and Lee. There are still important gaps in the UIS database but the UIS will attempt to fill them in the coming years.

The figure below summarizes the MYS estimates released by the UIS in December 2013. The UIS provides data for 103 countries and territories from the period 1996 to 2013. In the figure, only the latest available data are shown for each country. All countries are grouped by geographic region and sorted by MYS of the total population. As noted above, there are large gaps in the UIS database. For example, MYS estimates are only available for 13 of the 45 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. For two thirds of all countries, the MYS estimates are from 2007 or a later year but for the remaining countries, the most recent estimates are more than 6 years old. In spite of these gaps, some interesting patterns can be observed in the data.

MYS is highest (generally 8 years or more) in North America and Western Europe, Central Asia, and Central and Eastern Europe. Among the countries with data, the highest MYS was calculated for the United Kingdom in 2011: 13.8 years. By contrast, MYS values are lowest in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. In Burkina Faso, men and women 25 years and older completed on average less than one year of schooling.

Gender disparities, indicated by the difference between male and female MYS, are smallest in North America and Western Europe and in Central Asia, and largest in sub-Saharan Africa and in South and West Asia. In Pakistan, adult men had on average completed 3 more years of schooling than adult women in 2011 (6.2 years for men versus 3.1 years for women). In East Asia and the Pacific and in sub-Saharan Africa, the spread between the countries with the lowest and highest MYS is more than 10 years. In the Arab States, Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and North America and Western Europe, the difference between the countries with the lowest and highest MYS is 6 years or less.

Mean years of schooling of the population 25 years and older, latest year available (click image to enlarge)

Note: Countries in each region sorted by MYS of total population.
Source: UIS Data Centre, December 2013, http://stats.uis.unesco.org.

The full data set with UIS estimates of MYS is available in the UIS Data Centre. The data set lists MYS values for the total, male and female population 25 years and older of 103 countries and territories, as well as the educational attainment data on which the MYS estimates are based.

  • Go to the UIS Data Centre at http://stats.uis.unesco.org.
  • Click on "Predefined Tables".
  • Click on "Literacy and Educational Attainment".
  • Click on "Mean years of schooling of population aged 25 years and older" to download an Excel file with all data.

References

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Friedrich Huebler, 28 December 2013, Creative Commons License
Permanent URL: http://huebler.blogspot.com/2013/12/mys.html

22 December 2013

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 4.1 to be compatible with Stata 13. The user guide for the rundo and rundolines programs was also revised. Changes include:

  • All Stata references in the guide were updated to version 13.1, the most recent version as of December 2013.
  • The troubleshooting section was expanded.
  • All broken links in the user guide were repaired.
  • The formatting of the guide was modified so that it is retained when the blog translation tool is used to read the guide in a different language.

Stata/SE 13.1 program window
Stata/SE 13.1 program window

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Friedrich Huebler, 22 December 2013, Creative Commons License
Permanent URL: http://huebler.blogspot.com/2013/12/stata.html