School denied to 250m children by 2030

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A quarter of a billion children will not be in school in 2030 and many of those studying will receive a poor education unless there is a six-fold increase in aid, according to new estimates released by UNESCO.

The proportion of children and adolescents aged six to17 who are not in school globally will fall only slightly on current trends, from 18 per cent (265m) to 14 per cent (225m), it said. A large share of those who are studying will not achieve minimum proficiency in reading while standards in francophone Africa are projected to continue to decline.

The figures reveal the slow progress being made towards the UN’S Sustainable Development Goals. They have been shared with ministers of the G7 group of leading industrial countries at talks with Unesco in Paris in efforts to boost their investments ahead of a planned education summit in Biarritz at the end of August.

Audrey Azoulay, director-general of Unesco, told the Financial

Times: “We have to put education at the heart of development. We have to reinforce the level of investment — not only the quantity but also the quality of learning.”

The analysis highlighted that, of $4.7tn spent each year on education worldwide, $3tn, or 65 per cent, is spent in high- income countries. Just $22bn or 0.5 per cent is spent on the similar number of school children living in low-income countries.

Chart showing how fewer teachers in Sub-saharan Africa at primary and secondary level have received minimum training

Globally, $ 39bn a year was needed in low and lower middle income countries required to achieve universal education. Aid, which has been stagnant since the start of this decade, needed to increase by a factor of six, according to the analysis.

While most countries are making