Explore the programme key areas
Since 2012, the Schools for Asia initiative has raised more than 55 million dollars for education, including over 20 million in 2015.
Children with early learning opportunities stay longer in school, perform better than their peers and have better results.
Yet, only only a little over half of all children in the region have access to pre-school education in Asia. Developing community-based early learning opportunities and scaling-up successful approaches is the main focus of UNICEF.
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In recent years, while the region has made tremendous gains in the rapid expansion of enrolment in primary education, the quality of education has suffered. In South Asia, only 64 per cent of children who enroll in grade one reach the last grade of primary education. And only a third of children who have had at least four years of primary education meet minimum learning standards.
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UNICEF is focusing its effort on keeping the most disadvantaged children in school, bringing in those who are not enrolled and providing alternative education to over-aged children. Although more children are now enrolled in school in Asia compared to a decade ago, specific groups of children continue to be excluded from education. Poverty is often the major reason for this exclusion along with other overlapping factors, such as living in remote areas. Children who are still out of school often face deep-rooted structural inequalities linked to poverty, exposure to child labour, conflict/natural disasters, location, gender, HIV/AIDS, disability, ethnicity, language, and religion.
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Education in emergencies
Many countries in the Asia region are affected by natural disasters and conflict, which threaten human life, health, livelihoods, and security. In the Asia-Pacific region, between 2004 and 2010 some 500,000 people died and 40 million became homeless due to natural disasters. These disasters disproportionately affect the poor, the vulnerable, the most marginalized, and especially children. UNICEF works before after and during an emergency to ensure that children are able to continue to access education even when the school system and infrastructure is profoundly affected by a disaster or armed conflict.
Learn more about education in emergencies