Wednesday, Jun 3, 2015Wednesday, Jun 3, 2015

$164.5 billion a year wasted on poor-quality education: UN

Published on Jan 29, 2014 3:07 PM

PARIS (AFP) - A quarter of a billion children worldwide are failing to learn basic reading and maths skills in an education crisis that costs governments US$129 billion (S$164.5 billion) annually, the United Nations's cultural agency warned in a report Wednesday.

Inadequate teaching across the world has left a legacy of illiteracy more widespread than previously thought, Unesco said in its annual monitoring report.

It said one in four young people in poor countries was unable to read a sentence, with the figure rising to 40 per cent in sub-Saharan Africa, The United Nations defines "youth" as people aged between 15 and 24, although Unesco's definition varies across regions.

"What's the point in an education if children emerge after years in school without the skills they need?" said Ms Pauline Rose, the director of the nearly 500-page Education for All Global Monitoring Report.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!