Study on ‘out of school children’ to be launched

first_imgThe Education Ministry (MoE) will be commissioning a study into ‘out of school children’, with the aim of working towards achieving equitable inclusive education.The launching of the study is scheduled for today at the Regency Hotel, Hadfield Street, Georgetown.The agenda of the first meeting of stakeholders includes discussions on the goals, methodologies and potential results of a study about out of school children, while building capacities; the agreement between the MoE and key stakeholders about the Out Of School Children Initiative (OOSCI) study and, create an inventory with available data.The most important aim of the study is to generate a document which will study “the problem of out of school children and children at risk of dropping out.”?The Global ‘Out of School Children’ Report notes that despite dramatic improvements towards achieving universal primary education, more that 59 million children of primary school age were out of school in 2013.In Latin American and the Caribbean, “more than 21 million children and adolescents are out of school or at risk of dropping out.” Guyana has not been spared, as significant disparities exist between and among schools in the urban, rural, riverine and hinterland locations.In Guyana, the unacceptable drop-out rate, unqualified teachers, especially in the hinterland and riverine areas, and overall low performance of boys, are the major concerns for the Education Ministry. Children with disabilities and those required to work in order to support their families’ incomes are doubly challenged, as the education system is not currently providing the flexibility to facilitate attendance and full participation.For example, it is estimated that around 16 per cent of the projected age appropriate population are out of pre-primary school, and although there are less primary school aged children out of the system, there is a need to address the 14 per cent, or more, that are out of school at the secondary level.Some children who are enrolled in the system struggle with the consequences of an age gap beginning in the first years in primary, which progressively increases with each year. For example, utilising local statistics of 2010, the profile shows that more than 600 boys and girls were overage at age seven, with the figure rising to 4300 by age 14.The country is challenged by limited data on the causes of drop-out and out of school children, at national and/or sub regional levels. This study sets out to correct the vacuum caused by the limited data on out of school children.This study is supported by UNICEF/GOG, and is one of several studies that have taken place or are scheduled to take in many countries around the world.last_img read more