Rationale - what it means and why it is an important measure
Children enrolled in school that drop out before completion fail to gain the intellectual, social, cultural and ethical knowledge and skills that schooling should provide. This also constitutes a waste of the human, social and economic potential of the countries concerned. School wastage is linked to poverty and child labour.
How it is compiled, what data are needed
Pupils from ages 12-15 that attend public schools versus the total number of pupils from ages 12-15 that are required to attend.
This indicator should be measured annually.
Measurements and units
Public school attendance (%)
Possible temporal and spatial format
Graphs, trend charts, maps
Reference to methodology resources
To improve access to and completion of primary and secondary education.
Targets, benchmarks, reference values
No specific targets
References to examples of application
Access to education in Cape Town, South Africa: http://www.cmc.gov.za/peh/soe/educat.htm
Other comments / background
Today, in the less developed regions as a whole, only three out of four pupils can be expected to reach Grade 5, i.e. completing at least the four years of schooling generally considered necessary for achieving sustainable literacy skills. Thus the expected benefits of increased enrolments are being undermined by significant levels of drop-out, an acute symptom of school wastage. The Framework for Action of the ”World Conference on Education for All”, (Thailand, 1990) urges countries to pursue ‘Improvement in learning achievement such that an agreed percentage of an appropriate age cohort (e.g. 80 per cent of 14-year-olds) attains or surpasses a defined level of necessary learning achievement’.