Pakistan has 24 million out of school children

Published: February 26, 2016


ISLAMABAD: A staggering 24 million Pakistani children are out of school, a new government report showed, laying bare the state of education in a country where around a quarter of the population is believed to be under 16.

Of the 50.8 million children aged five to 16 in the country, 47 per cent do not receive an education, according to the annual Pakistan Education Statistics report for 2014-2015, a rare example in Pakistan of a government document exposing a stark reality.

Mosharraf Zaidi, campaign director for Alif Ailaan, a non-government organisation working to improve education, branded the public education system a “complete failure”.

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However he praised the report itself on Friday, saying it was “important for government documents to reflect reality”.

Pakistan has not conducted a national census for 17 years, but around two-thirds of the roughly 200 million population are believed to be under 30.

The report, released Thursday and compiled using population projections and demographic analysis, put the number of school-age children at 50.8 million.

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Of the 24 million who are not in school, more are girls — 12.8 million compared to 11.2 million boys, said the report, which also revealed that 69 per cent of children enrolled at primary school level drop out by the fifth year.

It also highlighted the lack of resources for education in Pakistan. Around 29 per cent of government primary schools operate with just a single teacher, it said, 18 per cent have only one classroom, and nine per cent do not even have a building.

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But the report did have a silver lining: the number of children out of school is around one million less than the previous year.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Aman
    Feb 26, 2016 - 7:22PM

    47%?! Half of the children in Pakistan are not going to school? How can they ever hope to create a better future without education?Recommend

  • N.S
    Feb 26, 2016 - 11:29PM

    UNESCO gives a figure of 5-5.5 million students. 24 million students out of school is a very exaggerated figure.Recommend

  • abdullah
    Feb 26, 2016 - 11:49PM

    The only prob is we make so many babiess.its better to have two kids.send them to school.den to have 5 kids.Recommend

  • lolz
    Feb 27, 2016 - 2:22AM

    Metro buses are the priority!Recommend

  • Oblivious
    Feb 27, 2016 - 2:36AM

    Your also one of the last bastions of polio and almost 30% of your population seems to think that ISIS is OK – but you have the bomb which is suppose to make things OK?Recommend

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