By Aisha Tamba
The latest Unicef situation analysis of children and adolescents in The Gambia has revealed that despite the increase in enrolment, some 50, 000 primary schools children are out-of-school in the 2021 school enrolment.
It also added that similarly, high numbers exist in other education levels.
This analysis was revealed to stakeholders at the validation of the Situation Analysis of Children and Adolescents in The Gambia at the Sir Dawda Jawara Conference Center.
According to the analysis, national efforts to reduce the number of out-of-school children are urgently required. “Inequalities related to geographical location, family income, and social norms represent significant barriers for children’s education. Noticeable improvement in literacy among youths aged 15-24 are reported in MICS 2018, however, foundational reading and numeracy skills are seriously lagging behind. ECE is very important for the overall development of the child and his/her long-term preparedness for education, however, less than 60% of children benefit,” the report said.
It further disclosed stated that although some progress has been achieved in ensuring the rights of children and adolescents to quality education, disparities still exist and improvement is required to meet the desired national and regional targets and commitments.
The document was developed following a nationwide consultation with partners, including government, civil society, children, and young people, and looks at the state of children in The Gambia vis-à-vis the protection and fulfillment of their rights.
Unicef said the document is an important part of the development of its Country Programme Document 2023-2027.