Equity in Education

Students from the first grade work on their Mathematics skills at Bairy Harin Mary Government Primary School at Palashbari, Gaibandha on 5 September 2013.

Let us learn.

UNICEF aims to reach the poorest and most vulnerable children and through educational opportunities, allow them to lead better lives. Education is the key to reducing poverty, and equity is at the heart of an effective education system.  UNICEF has launched five programs to address the exclusion, discrimination and injustice that the hardest-to-reach children face.

The U.S. Fund for UNICEF seeks your support of these crucial education projects in five select countries. Please join us by making a gift that will transform the most vulnerable children’s educational experiences.


Afghanistan has been in a state of emergency for over 20 years. About 70% of the population lives in poverty, and the situation for girls is abysmal. Cultural barriers, early marriage, a shortage of female teachers, and poor educational facilities mean that 42% of Afghani children cannot attend school. 

Young girls stand by a wall at Peer Masoodia Madrasa in the southern city of Kandahar, capital of Kandahar Province. © UNICEF/NYHQ2013-0972/AGRON DRAGAJ


Half of Bangladeshi children live in poverty, and natural disasters, particulary cyclones, have destroyed 9,000 schools and disrupted education for over a 1.5 million children. For children struggling to attend school, disruptions caused by emergencies increase dropout rates and decrease children's chances for education. UNICEF provides access to safe learning environments for children in disaster areas of Bangladesh. 


Much of Liberia's education infrastructure was completely destroyed by a devastating civil war, leaving a staggering 51% of primary and secondary school children, especially girls, out of school. Liberians almost unanimously say that more than anything, they need access to education for their children. 


Madagascar aims to have all of its children in school by 2015, and attendance is rising. Today, however, only 40% complete primary school. In 60% of rural communities there are no schools, and some children walk as far as 32 miles every day to attend class. Poverty hurts all children, but girls are particularly affected by cultural beliefs about who should be educated. 

Children read from exercise books in a sixth grade class at a public primary school in Soavinandriana District, Itasy Region, Madagascar.


Over a million Nepali children do not attend school, and of those who do, about 40% do not reach fifth grade. With initiatives like Girls’ Education Networks, UNICEF employs community mobilizers to monitor the school attendance of girls and boys, preventing