Learning Against the Odds

Evidence and policies to support all out-of-school children and adolescents in East Asia and Pacific


The fundamental right to education for every child is clearly acknowledged in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which marks its 30th anniversary this year. Thanks to the rapid advances in education provision over the past few decades in East Asia and Pacific, there has been considerable progress in integrating out-of-school children and adolescents into basic education, from pre-primary and primary to lower and upper secondary levels. However, a staggering number of 35 million children and adolescents are still out of school. Key barriers to education persist, including lack of services. Gender equality is still an unresolved issue across the region, with adverse cultural norms and harmful practices continuing. As such, a transformation in the education systems is urgently needed, as doing ‘more of the same’ is not enough.

UNICEF’s East Asia and Pacific Regional Office developed the Regional Synthesis Report ‘Learning Against the Odds: Evidence and Policies to Support All Out-of-School Children and Adolescents in East Asia and Pacific’, based on the latest data and evidence made available from countries in the region. This Report analyzes trends, develops profiles of the most vulnerable populations and identifies key barriers, and finally suggests 10 specific policies to improve equitable provision of quality education and learning opportunities for all in the region, to make the vision of the Convention of the Rights of the Child a reality.

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