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India reduces ‘out of school’ children by 90 percent

New Delhi:  Making significant progress, India has reduced its “out of school” children by over 90 per cent and has achieved “universal primary education”, said a UNESCO global education report released on Thursday.
“In fact, India is predicted to be the only country in South and West Asia to have an equal ratio of girls to boys in both primary and secondary education,” the report released by HRD Minister Smriti Irani said.
The Education for All 2000-2015 report said that while globally 47 per cent of the countries achieved universal pre- primary enrolment, eight per cent of the countries including India were close to achieving so.
The report, though, called upon the international community to find, in partnership with countries, the means to bridge the USD 22 billion annual financial gap for quality pre-primary and basic education for all by 2030.
Addressing the meet, Irani said the initiatives to improve the enrolment level and “a new paradigm of education that fosters knowledge, analytical skills, vertical reasoning and the ability to imagine beyond the given is being adopted”.
This is being carried out recognising the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi of making education a pillar in nation’s character building, she said, adding enhanced focus was being laid on science and mathematics which are central to school education. The UNESCO report also noted the achievement of gender parity in India but said the country is yet to achieve significant progress in adult literacy.
It said 32 per cent of the countries including India are still “very far” from achieving it.
The report called upon all the countries to ensure that children and adolescents complete pre-primary, primary and lower secondary education by 2030.
Talking of India’s exemplary progress in helping children get access to pre-primary and primary education, the report said, “India’s example clearly shows that with sufficient political will and resources, the world can step up to meet the new education targets by 2030”.
National University of Educational Planning and Administration vice chancellor R Govinda laid stress on putting enhanced focus on quality of education, quality of school and teacher training initiatives given that universal access to education has significantly improved in the country. Stressing the need for providing education to all, Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi said the education has the power to to make the world peaceful and non-violent.
“Education cannot be killed,” he said as he referred to the attack on a Peshawar school last year by terrorists killing scores of children. Satyarthi though voiced concern over depleting resource allocation for the education sector, saying the world realise the adverse fallout of such cuts. (PTI)

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