Education of Disadvantaged Children in OIC:
The Key to Escape from Poverty
This report is prepared for COMCEC to tackle the issue of access to quality education for
disadvantaged children across OIC countries.
It aims to provide a comparative overview and
situation analysis in OIC member countries by employing a desk review, microdata analysis and
Conceptual Framework and Methodology
Education is strongly linked with poverty.
Higher levels of education lead to better life
outcomes in terms of health, life skills, job skills and earnings. However, inequality of
opportunities in access to education put children at a disadvantage from the beginning of their
lives by decreasing their chances to access education. Starting life with poor education outcomes
later turn into a higher likelihood of being poor.
Children may be prevented from access to education due to a number of circumstances
that they have no control of which became barriers for them in front of access to quality
These could be child or household related circumstances like poverty, gender or
disability. Apart from child or household related circumstances system wide problems also
prevent children from accessing schools or even when they have access their achievements
could stay low due to low quality of education. Yet these barriers could be overcome by policies
and strategies of governments.
The barriers that are focused on in the report are i) poverty (ii) location of residence, iii)
gender, iv) having disability and special needs, v) language and being minority
. In addition
to these barriers, system wide problems such as low level of financing of the education system
and lack of quality education are also added as barriers that affect education outcomes of all
children in the country.
In the report first an overview of the status and trends in access to education in the world
and in the OIC countries is presented
. Secondly the report provides information on barriers
and bottlenecks to access and policies and programs that are in place to address these barriers
in the world and in the OIC. Next, the same conceptual framework is also applied to case
countries (Senegal, Turkey, Pakistan and Jordan) in more detail while making use of microdata
from Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) at the household level.
Overview of education in the OIC Member States
In the last two decades, OIC member countries improved access to education.
universal primary education has not yet been achieved in a large number of the member
countries. In 24 countries (out of 50 with data available), net enrolment rates at the primary
level are lower than 90 percent.
This correlation is weaker
for primary enrolment rates since primary enrolment rates are already generally high while for
pre-primary, lower secondary and upper secondary education enrolment rates are more