Around 14 million children were missing out on education in central and eastern Europe, according to a study published Thursday in Geneva by the UN children's agency UNICEF.
Almost 2.4 million children in the region did not attend primary school, around 2 per cent of children in that age group, and 12 million did not attend secondary school out of a total 100 million children aged 18 or under, according to the study.
Attendance was lowest in Armenia, Georgia, Moldavia and in several central Asian republics such as Tadjikistan and Kyrgyzstan, where less than half the children were in secondary school.
These failures in the education system fed poverty and undermined the economic competitiveness of these countries, UNICEF regional director Maria Calivis told journalists.
Youth unemployment was running at more than 50 per cent in those countries lagging behind most in education, such as Serbia, Armenia and Macedonia. It was around 30 per cent in Slovakia, Croatia and Poland.
UNICEF urged governments in the region to increase spending on education from an average 3 per cent of their gross national droduct to closer to 6 per cent, insisting better wages were needed to attract good teachers and improve quality.
Last Mod: 21 Eylül 2007, 13:19