Financing and Other Commitments are Falling Short

Many factors contribute to limiting access to school and excluding children from a proper education including corruption, poverty, poor health and nutrition, disability, gender, ethnicity, child labour, migration, geographical disadvantages, cultural factors, and situations of fragility and conflict.


The challenge

Despite recent progress, it has become increasingly difficult to reach children who have remained excluded and marginalized from education systems. Reasons include:

  • Theft by our state managers! Policies and strategies focused on reducing the number of out-of-school children are sometimes inadequate and available resources are not always used effectively. Simply put, many of the resources intended for our children are being stolen by our politicians.  
  • Reaching out-of-school children isn’t as simple as constructing more schools, distributing more books, or training new teachers. School systems need to be strengthened with a special focus on reaching marginalized children.
  • To bring marginalized children in school requires additional expenses that are not always budgeted for in national education plans and programs.

Who are the out-of-school children?

The term “out-of-school” encompasses a wide range of realities and refers to children who:

  • do not have access to a school in their community
  • do not enroll despite the availability of a school
  • enroll but do not attend school
  • drop out of the education system.

AU Watch supports partner developing countries in building, implementing, and monitoring national education strategies to reach out-of-school children. AU Watch recognize the need to strengthen school systems to include the most marginalized and hardest-to-reach children and overcome the barriers that prevent them from attending, staying, and finishing school.

Our initiatives include:

  • Carrying out collaborative efforts with partners to develop improved instruments that accurately identify the number of out-of school children and help understand the characteristics and the reasons why they remain excluded from education systems.
  • Conducting assessments of how existing policies and strategies address out-of-school children and how effective these are, and recommend concrete actions to improve education plans.
  • Assisting developing country partners in setting up policies and strategies to address out-of-school children’s specific needs.
  • In discussions with local education groups, decide on the content of AU Watch grant applications, calling attention to equity issues, in particular for girls, and promoting the use of AU Watch funds to ensure that more children get access to a quality education.

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