A Glimmer of
As governments across South Asia struggle to alleviate child poverty and increase education, the NGO sector also rises to the task.
Today, close to 35 million children in South Asia are out of school, making it the most illiterate region in the world followed by the Middle East and North Africa (6.7 million), East Asia and the Pacific (4.7 million) and Latin America and the Caribbean (4.2 million).
In South Asia, a very small percentage of children complete primary education due to high dropout and failure rates. Out of every 100 students that enter the primary education cycle, only 10 or fewer reach the secondary school stage. Public spending on education in South Asia currently averages about 4.1 percent of the GDP – one of the lowest levels in any region.
According to ‘ The State of the Whole World’s Children 2012’ children from poor urban neighborhoods are among the least likely to attend school. A survey in Delhi found a primary school attendance rate of 54.5 percent among children living in slums in 2004-2005 compared to 90 percent for the city as a whole. In Bangladesh, according to 2009 data, the differences were even more pronounced at the secondary level: 18 percent of children in slums attended secondary school, compared to 53 percent in urban areas as a whole and 48 percent in rural areas.
In the Maldives, Humanium, a relief organization for sustainable development and child sponsorship, does not set up alternative structures but reinforces existing ones in cooperation with local authorities and villagers, in order to improve the quality of education. The organization has conducted campaigns that involve awareness meetings with children and parents to highlight the negative effects of child labor. Evening tuition centers provide academic support to children, especially when their parents are illiterate or cannot read well. If necessary, transit schools are established in the