Primary school enrolment rate down in Tunisia (survey)
12/02/2024 15:26, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP) - The primary school enrolment rate in Tunisia has fallen over the past 10 years, reaching 92.2% in 2023, against 96.9% in 2018 and 98% in 2012, reads the national Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS) which was carried out in 2023 and presented on Monday in Tunis.

Carried out by the National Institute of Statistics (INS) and the Economy and Planning Economy, this survey further shows that the enrolment rate in the first cycle of secondary education has reached 76.5% in 2023, compared with 82% in 2018.

In Tunisia, 36% of children aged between 7 and 14 do not have basic reading skills and 68.3% of them do not have basic math skills, the same survey reveals.

Speaking at a national conference held to present the results of this survey, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Representative in Tunisia Michel Lepechoux pointed to the need to strengthen learning and improve its quality so that every child can continue his/her schooling successfully, without obstacles or risks of dropping out.

"Tunisia has already made commendable efforts to strengthen its education system, from pre-school to vocational training", he indictaed.

Lepechoux further said that compared with African countries, Tunisia has already achieved good indicators in terms of schooling and maternal and child health. However, the rate of breastfeeding during the first six months of newborns in Tunisia remains low, compared to a global average of 48%, he pointed out, adding that fall reported in some indicators compared to 2018 is due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To this end, he called for greater efforts in this field, especially as the World Health Organisation is aiming for a rate of 50% by 2025.

Taking the floor, Secretary of State to the Minister of Economy and Planning in charge of Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises Samir Abdelhafedh highlighted the importance of this survey's results, which will be used to put in place effective public policies in terms of reforms, especially educational reforms related to the development of the health system and the improvement of living conditions, by targeting the regions and disadvantaged categories.

The INS had drawn up the MICS on the situation of mothers and children in Tunisia 2023 with the technical and financial support of the UNICEF, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the German Development Bank (KfW), he pointed out.

He went on saying that this was the 5th survey carried out in this context since 2000, to identify the real situation of mothers and children and the progress made by Tunisia towards achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

This survey, which involved 11,000 families, revealed 183 indicators, including 34 sustainable development indicators, based on the age of the mother and child, the region, the social situation and the mother's level of education in rural and urban areas.

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