Access to Education
Table of Contents
As stated in Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (December 10, 1948):
“Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.”The United Nations. (2010). The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Retrieved August 8, 2010, from The United Nations: http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml
This Declaration requires all United Nations members to strive for and achieve the levels of education which satisfactorily fulfill Article 26.
There are an estimated 101 million children not in school, the majority of which are girls. Many times, gender, socioeconomic background, location, religion, cultural traditions, and health issues keep children out of school, and these issues disproportionately affect girls’ education. http://www.unicef.org/education/index_access.html
In order to address the issue of gender inequality in access to education, United NationsICEF includes the following in its interventions: “outreach to locate excluded and at-risk girls to get them into school, policy support and technical assistance for governments and communities to improve access for those children who are hardest to reach or suffer most from discrimination, and programs to eliminate cultural, social and economic barriers to girls’ education.”UNICEF. (2009, October 29). Basic Education and Gender Equality. Retrieved August 5, 2010, from UNICEF: http://www.unicef.org/education/index_access.html
The The 2010 Global Education Digest found:
- Boys and girls in only 85 countries will have equal access to primary and secondary education by 2015, if present trends continue. Seventy-two countries are not likely to reach Millennium Development Goals #2 (universal primary education) – among which, 63 are far from reaching parity at the secondary level.
- Globally, girls are more likely to never enter primary school than boys. In South and West Asia, only about 87 girls start primary school for every 100 boys, according to UIS data. The situation is not much better in Primary Education in Sub-Saharan Women and African Economic Development, where about 93 girls begin their primary education for every 100 boys, according to the regional average.
- Boys also have greater access than girls to secondary education in 38% of countries, while the opposite is true in 29% of countries. Yet as is the case at the primary level, once girls gain access to secondary education, they tend to complete their studies more often than boys.
- Gender disparities are equally marked in tertiary education in all regions of the world. The only countries to achieve parity at this education level are Chile , Colombia , Guatemala , Chinese Taipei SAR of China , Mexico , Swaziland and Switzerland . In countries, such as Ethiopia , Eritrea , Guinea and Niger – where the GDP per capita is below PPP$ 3,000 – there are fewer than 35 female tertiary students for every 100 male students. On the other hand, in wealthy countries, female students clearly outnumber men as tertiary students.
- Despite the improved access to tertiary education globally, women face considerable barriers as they move up the education ladder to research careers and in the labour market. At the Bachelor’s degree level, most countries reporting data have achieved gender parity in terms of graduates. Women are more likely to pursue the next level of education, accounting for 56% of graduates with Master’s degrees. However, men surpass women in virtually all countries at the highest levels of education, accounting for 56% of all Ph.D. graduates and 71% of researchers.UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Less than 40% of countries in the world face gender disparities in primary and secondary education. 2011. http://www.uis.unesco.org/ev.php?ID=8118_201&amp;ID2=DO_TOPIC (accessed March 15, 2011).
The Education at a Glance 2009 found that:
- The enrollment rate for 15-19 year-olds in OECD countries in 2007 is 81%, up by eight percentage points since 1995.
- An expansion by seven percentage points in the enrollment rate at age 20-29, meaning that on average, one in four people in their 20s in the OECD are studying.
Millennium Development Goals
The Millennium Development Goals address access to education in two different sections:
According to Millennium Development Goal 2, Achieving Universal Primary Education, the indicators used to achieve UPE are found under Target 3, which is to “ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling.”
These indicators are:
- Indicator 2.1: Net Enrolment Ratio (NER) in Primary Education.
- Indicator 2.2: Proportion of Pupils Starting Grade 1 Who Reach the Last Grade of Primary.
- Indicator 2.3:Gender, Institutions and Development Data Base Variables: Literacy Rates of 15-24 Year Olds, Women and Men.
Also, Millennium Development Goal 3, Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women, addresses access to education through Target 4, “eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005 and in all levels of education by 2015.
This is measured by:
- Indicator 3.1: [Statistics:School Enrolment|Ratio of girls to boys in primary, secondary, and tertiary education].United Nations. (2010). The Millennium Development Goals Report 2010: Statistical Annex. New York: The United Nations.
UNESCO Institute for Statistics
According to Nyi Nyi Thaung of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Institute for Statistics, access to education is defined by analysis of the following input indicators:
- Gross Enrollment Ratio in Pre-Primary/Preschool (ECCE) Programs
- % of new Grade 1 intakes with Preschool (ECCE) experiences
- Gross Intake Rate (AIR)
- Net Intake Rate (NIR)
- Gross Enrollment Ratio (GER) by Level
- Net Enrolment Ratio (NER) by Level
- % of Girl Enrollment by Level
- Public Expenditure on Education as a % of GDP
- Public Expenditure on Education as a % of Total Government Expenditure
- Public Recurrent Expenditure on Education as a % of Total Government Recurrent Expenditure
- Unit Cost (public recurrent expenditure per pupil) by LevelThuang, N. (2008). Development of M&amp;amp;E Framework. UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Bangkok: UNESCO.
OECD Education at a Glance 2009
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Education at a Glance 2009 report uses the following indicators to measure access to education:
- Enrollment rates, by age
- Trends in enrollment rates
- Transition characteristics from age 15-20, by level of education
- Upper secondary enrollment patterns
- Students in primary or secondary education by type of institution or mode of study
- Students in tertiary education by type of institution or mode of study
- Education expectancy
- Expected years in tertiary educationEducation at a Glance 2009: OECD Indicators – OECD © 2009 – ISBN 9789264024755
- Millennium Development Goals
- Access to bank loans
- Access to land
- Access to Water and Sanitation
- Access to property
- Education for All
- Gender Education and Advocacy
- Primary Education in Sub-Saharan Women and African Economic Development
- Primary Completion Rates
- Net Intake Rate
- Net Enrolment Ratio (NER)
- Secondary Education in Sub-Saharan Women and African Economic Development
- [Statistics:School Enrolment]
- [Statistics:Literacy Rates]
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Institute for Statistics
- Gender, Institutions and Development Data Base Variables: School Enrolment
- Gender, Institutions and Development Data Base Variables: Literacy Rates
- Gender, Institutions and Development Data Base Variables: Political Empowerment
- Maternal Mortality
- Adolescent Birth Rate
- Share of women in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector
- Under-Five Mortality Rate