The United Nation has said that there is still a considerable population of school-age children without access to schools and ‘zero progress’ has been made in the past decade to improve that situation.

UNICEF, the UN’s children agency, said there had been “nearly zero progress” in tackling the lack of access to school in many of the world’s poorest countries, BBC reported.

Putting the number of children without access to school at an alarming 123 million, UNICEF said “pervasive levels of poverty”, conflict and humanitarian emergencies were crucial impediments.

Pledges

UNICEF Head of Education Jo Bourne said international pledges to create school places had not addressed “the realities of a volatile world”, adding that progress on the front in the past decade had been insubstantial.

The report by the agency said the problem was most critical in sub-Saharan Africa, where a rising population had added to the lack of schools, adding that children from the poorest families in poorest countries were likely to suffer the most.

Effect of war in Syria and other Middle Eastern states had reversed the little gains achieved in the past decade, with another 3.4 million children left without schools, it said, adding that efforts to increase the participation rate in school had “stagnated”. About a fifth of children in the world without access to school are living in conflict zones, the report said.

In the year 2000, the international community had pledged to provide a primary education for all children by 2015 as part of millennium development goals. But despite progress in the early years of the century, the goal  was missed in 2015.

The international goals promise universal primary education for 2030, but UNESCO, another UN agency, says the goal cannot be achieved until 2042 keeping in view the current rate of progress.

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