Statistics on enrolment are compiled by the United
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
Institute for Statistics (UIS) from data provided by national
Governments in response to UIS questionnaires.
The 1997 International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED
97) defines second-level education as education programmes at
ISCED levels 2 and 3. Lower secondary education (ISCED 2) is generally
designed to continue the basic programmes of primary level but
is typically more subject-focused, requiring more specialized
teachers for each subject area. The end of this level often coincides
with the end of compulsory education where it exists. In upper
secondary education (ISCED 3), the final stage of secondary education
in most countries, instruction is often organized even more along
subject lines and teachers typically need higher or more subject-specific
qualification than ISCED level 2.
The second-level net enrolment ratio (NER) is the number of boys
and girls in the theoretical second-level age group that are enrolled
in that level, expressed as a percentage of the total population
in the corresponding age group. It shows the extent of participation
in second-level education of children belonging to the official
age group corresponding to second-level education in the given
country. A high second-level NER denotes a high degree of participation
of secondary school-age children or youth in second-level education.
The theoretical maximum value is 100%. If the second-level NER
is below 100%, then the complement, i.e. the difference with 100%,
provides a measure of the proportion of children or youth of secondary
school age not enrolled at that level of education. However, since
some of these children or youth could be enrolled at levels of
education other than the secondary level, this difference should
in no way be considered as indicating the percentage of secondary
school-age children not enrolled.
While enrolment data offer an easy way of comparing the number
of boys and girls enrolled in schools, these statistics do not
reflect differences between boys and girls in rates of absenteeism,
repetition and dropping out.