Total primary (or secondary) school age children who are not enrolled (because they never enrolled or because they dropped-out) in primary or secondary education expressed as a percentage of the official school-age population corresponding to the primary (or secondary) level in a given school-year. Children enrolled in pre-primary education are excluded and considered out-of-school (Source: UIS)


A high rate of out-of-school children indicates that the State is failing to achieve universal primary and secondary education. Data for this indicator should be disaggregated to show which groups are excluded from education. If the data show, for example, that girls are more likely to be out-of-school or that children with disabilities are less likely to be enrolled or drop-out than the general population, this is an indication that the State's efforts to achieve universal primary (and secondary education) are insufficient and in some cases, discriminatory

Available data: 

UIS has data on out-of-school rates at the primary and lower secondary levels (Education>Out-of-school children). Alternatively, see Universal Primary and Secondary Education by 2030! But Where Do We Stand Today? - Explore the Data for a visual representation of UIS data. The All in School Initiative also provides data by region and the barriers to accessing education

Human Rights Standards: 

Article 13 (2), International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Article 28 (1), Convention on the Rights of the Child; Article 24 (2), Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; Article 7 (2) (c), ILO Convention 182; Article 17 (2), (Revised) European Social Charter; Article 13 (3), Protocol of San Salvador; Article 11 (3), African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Article 13 (4), African Youth Charter; Article 41 (2), Arab Charter; Article 4, UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education

Levels and Types of Education: 
Types of Indicator: 
Levels of disaggregation: 
Level of Education, Gender, Income, Minority, Region, Urban/Rural, Minority, Persons with Disabilities, Persons with HIV/AIDS, Migrants, Refugees and IDPs, Persons in Detention, Child Labourers, Child Soldiers