29.10.2012 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

New report: 66% of Senegalese youth aged 15-24 do not complete primary school and find themselves without qualification

Youth in Pikine, a poor suburb outside Dakar ©UNESCO/Anne Muller

The Global Monitoring Report on Education for All 2012, published by UNESCO, reveals the urgent need to invest in skills development for young people. Today 66% of senegalese youth do not complete primary school and find themselves without qualification. This gives a total of 1.7 million people, 73% of women and 59% men.

In developing countries across the globe, 200 million people aged 15 to 24 have not even completed primary school and need alternative pathways to acquire basic skills for employment and prosperity.

The UNESCO report was launched in Senegal during a roundtable on 29 October 2012 at UNESCO Dakar under the patronage of His Excellency, the Minister of Youth, Vocational Training and Employment, Mr. Aly Coto Ndiaye.

A generation of frustrated youth

“We are witnessing a young generation frustrated by the chronic mismatch between skills and work. The best answer to the economic downturn and youth unemployment is to ensure that young people acquire the basic skills and relevant training they need to enter the world of work with confidence,” said Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO.

“Many, and young women in particular, need to be offered alternative pathways for an education, so that they can gain the skills needed to earn a living, live in dignity and contribute to their communities and societies.”

The situation in Senegal 

The Report reveals that 78.51% of Senegalese youth aged 15-19 dropped out before finishing lower secondary school in the country. 45% of this age group hence have no education.

The rural poorest are the worst off: 94% of the rural poorest aged 15-24 year olds have less than a lower secondary education, compared to 79% of the urban poorest, and 59% of the urban richest.

Women are the worst off of all. In Senegal, 94% of women in rural areas aged 15-24 have less than a lower scondary education, compared to 87% of men The


Report makes a number of recommendations to address these problems and support skills development for young people:

  1. Alternative pathways to learn basic and foundation skills must be provided for an estimated 200 million young people
  2. All young people need quality training in relevant foundation skills at lower secondary school
  3. Upper secondary curricula should provide a balance between vocational and technical skills, including IT, and transferable skills such as confidence and communication which are indispensable for the work place.
  4. Skills strategies must target the disadvantaged: particularly young women and urban and rural poor.
  5. $US8 billion is needed to ensure all young people attend lower secondary education in developing countries. Governments as well as donors and the private sector must help fill the funding gap.

Roundtable to launch the Report 2012

The launch in Dakar brought together some 50 stakeholders from Senegal involved in youth training and employment, as well as young people from technical and vocational training institutions. 


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