32pc children don’t attend school in Pakistan: study

Our Correspondent
Tuesday, Sep 14, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The latest study tiled ‘The missing third: An out-of-school of Pakistani 5-16 year olds’, conducted by the Pak Alliance for Math and Science on the out-of-school children (OOSC), reveals that over 20 million children between the ages of 5 and 16 years are out of school in Pakistan.

Balochistan houses the highest proportion of OOSC population of 47pc, followed by Sindh with 44pc. In Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, around 32pc don't attend school, the percentage of OOSC in Punjab is 24, and an estimated 10pc children are deprived of getting access to education in Islamabad.

Pakistan ranks second among the countries in the world where a large number of children do not go to school. According to the report, out of these 20 million children who do not go to school, the highest number is around 7.7 million, living in Punjab. More than 6.48m OOSC children are in Sindh, 3.8m in KP, 2m in Balochistan, while 52,000 children live in the federal capital who do not go to school.

The report also points out that 54pc of out-of-school children are girls and 46pc are boys. In addition, 77pc are from rural areas, while the rate of out-of-school children in urban areas is 23pc. Among the reasons for not attendingschool, the study said that 87pc of children are out of schools because of the high cost of education and 13pc face other problems.

However, the children who dropped out of school shortly after enrolment, 31pc said they were not willing to go to school, 19pc said the cost of education was very high, 13pc said they could not attend schools because they help their parents at home and work, 11pc said they did not get permission from their parents and elders and 6pc said they were away from home and 20pc gave other reasons.

The report noted that 100pc of children under the age of 5 have not even seen the school. In addition, school enrolment rates are increasing among children between the ages of 5 and 9. But after 9 to 11 years, the rate of dropouts increases.

The report includes those districts where most children are out of school. The rate of out-of-school children in Shaheed Sikandarabad district of Balochistan has a percentage of 76 OOSC. KP’s Kohistan district ranks first in the province with 60pc. In Punjab, Rajanpur district is at the top with 48pc while Thatta district of Sindh has the highest rate of out-of-school children in the province with 71pc.