At least 250 million of the world’s 650 million primary school–age children can’t read, write or do basic mathematics, according to a report released by the United Nations on Jan. 29.
About 120 million children have spent little or no time in a classroom, including 57 million who attend no school at all. Another 130 million who lack literacy and basic math skills are in school.
A dearth of well-trained teachers was cited as a chief problem. In a third of the countries studied, less than three-quarters of the primary-school teachers had been trained to meet national standards.
“Teachers have the future of this generation in their hands,” the U.N.’s Irina Bokova said. “We need 5.2 million teachers to be recruited by 2015, and we need to work harder to support them in providing children with their right to a universal, free and quality education.”
Education Week, Feb. 4
Huffington Post, Jan. 29