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Page Background

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

in-depth interviews.

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