A secondary education of quality helps young people realize their full human potential and take their place in society as productive, responsible and democratic citizens.
Progress towards achieving Universal Primary Education and the rapidly changing needs and requirements of a modern society and economy has led to a growing demand for secondary education. In response, there has been widespread expansion of secondary education in all regions of the world. The most notable increases during 1999 to 2009 occurred in sub-Saharan Africa, where the Gross Enrolment Rate for lower secondary education rose from 28% to 43%. Despite significant improvements in access to secondary education, 21.6 million in Africa and 14.1 million in East Asia and the Pacific of lower secondary school-age children were out of school in 2009.
UNESCO supports national efforts to meet this demand, along with improving access to secondary education and enhancing its quality