In Luxembourg the school just started for about 102,358 students, ranging from preschool to secondary education, and if we add adult courses and adults enrolled in the National Institute of Languages we even reach 137,758 (Source l’Essentiel).
While in Luxembourg, and in most developed countries, primary and secondary education is not a choice, but a right and even an obligation until the age of 16 (Luxembourg), in the developing countries the reality is different.
A few days ago, we celebrated the International Literacy Day and so we decided to research the literacy rate for young people between 15 and 24 years in the developing countries in which we invest.
Literacy rates by UNDP youth aged 15-24 through countries where LMDF invested:
- Guatemala – female: 91.5% / male: 95.5%
- Honduras – female: 96.0% / male: 94.0%
- El Salvador – female: 96.9% / male: 96.2%
- Nicaragua – female: 88.8% / male: 85.2%
- Peru – female: 98.7% / male: 98.7%
- Ecuador – female: 98.6% / male: 98.6%
- Haiti – female: 70.5% / male: 74.4%
- Azerbaijan – female: 99.9% / male: 100%
- Mongolia – female: 98.9% / male: 98.0%
- Indonesia – female: 98.8% / male: 98.8%
- East Timor – female: 78.6% / male: 80.5%
- Philippines – female: 98.5% / male: 97.0%
- Cambodia – female: 85.9% / male: 88.4%
- Morocco – female: 74.0% / male: 88.8%
- Burkina Faso – female: 33.1% / male: 46.7%
- Ivory Coast – female: 38.8% / male: 58.3%
- Benin – female: 30.8% / male: 54.9%
- Niger – female: 15.1% / male: 34.5%
- Mali – female: 39.0% / male: 56.3%
If we look at these statistics in Latin America and Asia, we can conclude that primary and secondary education is part of the culture of these countries with a literacy rate nearly equal between young girls and young men.
On the other side, if we look at the statistics for sub-Saharan Africa, they are rather alarming with a literacy rate lowest in Niger with 34.5% for young men and only 15.1% for girls.
Faced with this problem, many institutions are trying, by working with partners in developing countries to address the problem of non-schooling of youth. LMDF for example finances the microfinance institution Asusu SA Niger. This institution aims, among others, for the schooling of girls. To motivate families to take their daughters to school, they receive clothes from the institution and a savings account with an initial balance, if the school certifies a certain attendance rate of the studen. To date, this project of ASUSU has already benefited to more than 10,000 girls in Niger.
Despite initiatives like that of Asusu, there is a long way to go, especially in Africa.
#InvestDifferently is also investing in education.