Do you know where your children are?

Some of us would have answers to this question while others would shove it off. But supposing you really couldn't afford to pay school fees or did not have access to education where you reside your initial response would be different.

So, again I ask, Do you really know where your children are?

Knowledge is power, but children in some countries have been deprived of this basic right due to faulty belief systems and poverty.

A report published by the United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) shows that 264 million school-age children and young people worldwide are not in school.

It is a progress report on the UN’s development goals for education focusing on 2015.

But was any significant 'progress' made?

The agency said that after a decline in the early 2000s, out-of-school rates have started to stagnate.

This situation calls for more actions to ensure children get needed education. Governments cannot be left alone to carry the burden.

Why can't graduates take turns to teach these children outside work hours? Why are we not thinking that if majority of these children are without education then our own privileged minority in private schools will have a problem.

“Worldwide, there was a completion rate of 83% for primary education, falling to 45% for upper secondary schooling,’’ the agency said.

UNESCO quoted household survey data from 128 countries for the 2010 to 2015 period.

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There were 40 countries where fewer than 1 in 4 young people had completed secondary education, but only 14 countries where no less than 90% had done so.

UNESCO Director General, Irina Bokova, wants more government accountability.

The report noted that while 82% of national constitutions mention a right to education, only 55% of countries make that right enforceable in the courts.

“Governments are the primary duty bearers for the right to education, yet this right is not justifiable or capable of being the basis for a court case in almost half of countries, and the primary course of action for those with a complaint is lost,’’ Bokova wrote.

While calling for accountability at all levels, the report, however, stressed that accountability measures for schools need to be flexible and carefully designed.

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“Schools may adjust to performance-based accountability systems in negative ways, gaming the system and avoiding sanctions to the exclusion of longer-term reforms,’’ the agency warned.

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