About 60% of young people in Iraq lack digital skills needed for employment and social inclusion, new report finds [EN/AR] – Iraq


UNICEF and Education Commission call for urgent investment to address global learning and skills crisis

BAGHDAD, 18 July 2022 – According to a new report released last week by the Education Commission and UNICEF ahead of World Youth Skills Day.

The report Reclaiming Learning: Are Children and Youth on the Right Track in Skills Development? presents analyzes of skills development in early childhood and among children of primary school age and youth. Data highlights low levels of skills among children and young people across all age groups, with young people in low-income countries least likely to have the skills needed to thrive, especially in future employment opportunities, decent work and entrepreneurship.

“An inspired and skilled generation of children and youth is essential to the prosperity, progress and success of societies and economies. Yet the majority of children and young people across the world have been let down by their education systems, leaving them uneducated, uninspired and unskilled – the perfect storm for unproductivity,” said the Education Director of UNICEF, Robert Jenkins. “There is an urgent need to invest in cost-effective and proven solutions to accelerate learning and skills development for the current generation and future generations to face this crisis.”

In Iraq, where young people represent the largest segment of the population, the report indicates that 59.2% of young people aged 15 to 24 lack digital skills to perform basic computer activities. Young people also lack opportunities to access life skills-based education, employability and entrepreneurial skills that will allow them a smooth transition into the labor market. Moreover, there are limited opportunities to equip young people with the skills to increase their civic engagement and enable them to become active and informed citizens and promote their participation in decision-making processes.

With high rates of out-of-school youth, low secondary level skills and a lack of learning opportunities, countries around the world are facing a skills crisis, with the majority of young people unprepared for be part of today’s workforce, the report notes. .

Deep disparities between countries and among members of the poorest communities deepen inequalities. In at least 1 in 3 low-income countries for which data is available, more than 85% of young people are behind in acquiring secondary, digital and vocational skills, the report notes.

“To give young people the best chance of succeeding and recovering learning losses from the pandemic, we need to support them holistically. But we can’t recover what we don’t measure. We need to know where children and young people are in construction That’s why the Education Commission, UNICEF and partners have worked to fill critical data gaps, including launching the clock World of Skills to help track progress and educate young people about skills acquisition. around the world so that we can target urgent actions to prepare this generation to thrive in the future,” said Liesbet Steer, Executive Director of the Education Commission.

Data from 77 countries show that less than three quarters of children aged 3 to 5 are developmentally on track in at least three of the four domains of literacy, numeracy, physical, social-emotional and learning. At around age 10, the majority of children in low- and middle-income countries are unable to read and understand simple text. These foundational skills are the building blocks for learning and skill development, the report notes.

basic literacy and numeracy; transferable skills, including life skills and social-emotional skills; digital skills, which enable people to use and understand technology; job-specific skills, which support the transition to the labor market and promote their social inclusion as agents of change; and entrepreneurial skills are essential for children and young people to thrive. These skills are also essential for the development of societies and economies.

“It is essential to develop the skills of children and young people so that they acquire a deep sense of autonomy. Yet prolonged school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic have disrupted their skills development,” says Ms. Sheema SenGupta, UNICEF Representative in Iraq. “UNICEF will continue to work with the Government of Iraq and other partners to ensure more comprehensive and inclusive skills development initiatives are in place to deliver the vision that every child and young person develops the full range of skills. skills needed to succeed in school, work and life.”

UNICEF and the Education Commission urge governments to provide every child and young person with quality education and learning and to remove barriers that put them at risk of dropping out of school; assess the learning levels of children and young people and offer appropriate remedial courses and training opportunities to bring them up to speed; prioritize basic skills to build a solid foundation for lifelong learning; and supporting psychosocial health and well-being by providing holistic support. The report highlights the need for more comprehensive data on the skills gap among children and young people of all age groups.

Notes to editors:


UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. In more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.

For more information about UNICEF and its work, visit: www.unicef.org
Follow UNICEF on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube For more information, please contact:

Georgina Diallo, UNICEF New York, tel. : +1 917 238 1559, [email protected] Miguel Mateos Munoz, Head of Communications, UNICEF Iraq, +964 7827820238, [email protected]

Monica Awad, Communications Specialist, UNICEF Iraq, tel. : +964 7809258545, [email protected]

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