This is a critical moment in history. The global youth population is growing rapidly, and if current trends hold, the number of adolescents aged between 10 and 19 years old will rise to more than 1.3 billion by 2030, an increase of 8 per cent from today.
The majority of this burgeoning population lives in low-income and lower-middle-income countries. Access to a quality education is perhaps the single most potent equalizer of opportunity for these individuals, yet as the new data presented in this factsheet reveal, the magnitude of the challenges they face is enormous. Without a dramatic increase in investment in education for these children and young people, their situations will only deteriorate, and the world will see an increase in unskilled and unprepared youth unable to embrace new technology and tackle the challenges of a rapidly changing global economy.
By acting now, we can change the current trajectory and achieve the ambitions set out in the Sustainable Development Goals – to get every child and young person in school and learning by 2030. Children entering school now must be given the support they need to stay on course and complete the full 12 years of education.