Research on the Demographics of Drop-outs in
Education and Policy Implications
August 18, 2009 - 3:30 p.m.
|Presenters: ||Caroline Fawcett, Education Development Center|
Ron Israel, Education Development Center
The objectives of this session were a) to present initial findings and recommendations of an EQUIP 3 study that analyzed Demographics and Health Survey (DHS) data on trends and characteristics of the out-of-school (OOS) youth population in developing countries, and b) generate discussion on the utility of study findings and recommendations and their policy implications.
Presenters argued that examination of the adequacy of knowledge and data of OOS youths in developing countries is needed to provide comparative data and analysis of the demographics of OOS youths, and provide a framework to support policy for livelihood skills, workforce development and other youth-centered programming. During the discussion, presenters defended the use of only DHS data for the study, stating that DHS data would be more standard than locally-generated data and was also easy to use, widely collected, and collects useful demographic information and education indicators
Ron Israel, of the Education Development Center, presented an introduction to the worldwide phenomenon of the youth bulge as a driving factor in the need to focus on youth-related research and analysis. The youth bulge, large numbers of young people aged roughly 15-24 in the population, is linked to unemployment globally, and represents a window of opportunity for economic growth and social development in many developing countries. However, more information is needed on this population in order to inform effective policy development.
Caroline Fawcett, Education Development Center, presented the results of an initial data study done in Sub-Saharan Africa that looked at out-of-school rates. Preliminary results found that many youths are out of school but that they are not drop-outs, rather have never been to school. About half of the population of the sub-continent, three out of four 10-14 year olds in the region, have no education at all. Ethiopia was then researched by employment, education and health issues, to further refine analysis and look for country-specific results. Some of the results found were: of OOS youths, 85% of young men report being engaged in work but only 33% of female, a high proportion of over-aged children are in school, and more male than female 15-24 year olds were out of school.
Key take away points of the session noted that younger children’s access to formal schooling remains a critical issue in Sub-Saharan Africa. Youth programming will vary depending on the age-range of the children. For example, for younger children access is an issue, while quality issues, i.e., work skills, TVET, and job placement, are more appropriate for programming for older students. Additionally, equity issues (gender, income, poverty, geographic locations) need to be addressed in the design of youth policies. Researchers concluded that existing data sets do not adequately describe the status of youths in developing countries.
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