A new report from UNESCO found that approximately 264 million kids around the world have no access to education, showing that for millions of kids around the world, something as simple as going to school is an experience they likely will never have. The report is based on data from 128 countries from 2010-2015 as a part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development report. This new report was released jointly by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics and the Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report.
What is really astounding about the numbers is finding where exactly the drop off happens for most kids. According to the report, there are around 61 million kids between the ages of 6-11 years old who aren’t receiving an education. The number actually drops to 60 million for kids between 12-14, before skyrocketing for 15-17-year-olds, with an estimated 142 million kids in that range lacking access to a basic education.
This means that many children get to have some experience with school but they are forced to give up their education once they reach the equivalent of high school or upper secondary school. In fact, according to the numbers, less than 25 percent of kids are currently completing their education in 40 countries and less than half in an additional 60 countries.
Irina Bokova, the director-general of UNESCO, said that these numbers should force people to realize how massive of a failure this is on a global scale and she hopes that we will all come together to help all children receive the education they deserve. “Today, there are 264 million children not going to school — this is a failure that we must tackle together because education is a shared responsibility and progress can only be sustainable through common efforts,” Bokova said.
So what can people do to help make education a reality for kids everywhere? The biggest way is simply to donate to organizations like Save the Children or World Vision, which were created to help underprivileged children have access to schooling they may not have otherwise. It may not feel like much but it can help change a child’s life for the better.