Geneva: At least 67
million children of school-going age are still denied the right to
education due to financial, social or other challenges, such as
health problems and armed conflict, a UN agency stated Monday.
The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the
principal UN agency for coordinating and reviewing economic and
social policies, released the statistics Monday during its annual
meeting in Geneva, Xinhua reported.
ECOSOC said about 796 million adults still lack basic literacy,
taking up 17 percent of the world adult population.
"At the national, regional and global levels, big issues confront
us in the quest to make education reality for all," said ECOSOC
president Lazarous Kapambwe on this occasion.
One of the recent challenges highlighted by ECOSOC is the cutting
back of educational budgets by many governments, as a result of
the financial crisis confronting them.
A survey conducted on 18 low-income countries indicates that seven
of them cut their education spending in 2009, raising concerns
that many more children would drop out of school in these
Another major obstacle to overall education is armed conflict,
which occurred in 35 countries over the last decade.
Kapambwe called for burden sharing between the developed and the
developing countries, as well as private sector and governments,
to ensure the right to education in low income countries, in
particular the least developed countries (LDCs).