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Unesco Report: Boys repeat grades more than girls, more affected by bullying, gender norms

Are girls smarter than boys? Pic: Reuters

Are girls smarter than boys? Pic: Reuters

Published Apr 14, 2022


As per an Unesco report titled ‘Leave No Child Behind: Global Report on Boys' Disengagement from Education', boys are more likely than girls to repeat primary grades in 130 out of 142 countries. It lists several issues that affect boys more than girls in primary and secondary school ages, such as bullying, punishment, and gender norms.

Here are the highlights from the Unesco report on the education of boys:

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  • Boys are more likely than girls to repeat primary grades in 130 out of 142 countries.
  • In 57 countries, with data on learning poverty, 10-year-old boys fare worse than girls in mastering reading skills and adolescent boys continue to fall behind girls at the secondary level.
  • While girls are more likely than boys to never attend school, boys in many countries are at higher risk of failing to advance and complete their education.
  • The right to education remains unfulfilled for many boys; 132 million boys are currently out of school.

"In 73 countries, less boys than girls are enrolled in upper-secondary education. In Mathematics, on the other hand, the gender gap that once worked against girls at the start of the millennium has narrowed or equalised with boys in half of all countries with data,” the report said.

What keeps boys from education?

  • Harsh discipline, corporal punishment, gendered norms, poverty and the need to work are among the major reasons that distance boys from education.
  • Poverty and the need to work can lead boys to drop out.
  • Language barriers, mobility, and discrimination contribute to educational exclusion.

How to tackle this issue? Unesco recommends the following remedial:

  • Some of the recommendations made by the Unesco report on how to solve this issue are:
  • Advance equal access to education and prevent boys’ drop out.
  • Reforming traditional practices or adapting their timing, such as initiation ceremonies, which pull boys and young men out of school.
  • Building on lessons of the extensive work identifying and addressing barriers to girls’ education.
  • Making learning gender-transformative, safe, and inclusive for all learners and creating gender-transformative and inclusive learning environments that address all learners’ needs.

Related Topics:

Basic Education