Although the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government is investing heavily in the education sector, 52% girls and 21% boys are out of school across the province. This was stated in Pakistan Education Statistics 2014-15, a report recently launched by Academy of Educational Planning and Management (AEPAM) in collaboration with Alif Ailaan.
The study echoed findings from numerous reports before – the number of girls and boys in schools drastically falls after primary. According to the 2014-15 study, of all the children enrolled in K-P, only 69% remain in school by the time they reach class five.
Empty desks: Five teachers for five students at girls school in suburb of Peshawar
Students drop out of school because of low motivation levels of educators. It added 19% schools in K-P operate with a single teacher. However, it claimed there was no school without a building in K-P.
Even with a burning indictment in the form of the education statistics report, K-P Elementary and Secondary Education Additional Secretary Qaiser Alam believes the state of education in K-P has improved in last two years. K-P is in a better position in comparison with other provinces, said Alam.
Talking to The Express Tribune on Sunday, he added the incumbent government
was very serious about educating girls.
“Several initiatives have been taken to increase the number of girls being educated.” He said gender disparity is likely to decrease as the government has decided to invest 70% of funds on educating girls while 30% will be put towards boys education.
Alam said 35,000 girls have been enrolled at 1,000 girls community schools across the province. “Our target is to enrol 70,000 girls, which we will achieve by 2018.”
Empty desks: Bakhshali girls secondary school too far to walk it
Moreover, Alam said, of the new schools that have been approved for construction, 70% are for girls. “The government is trying to make the number of female and male students equal by 2018.” He admitted girls’ enrolment is lower than boys’ but several projects were in the pipeline to reduce disparities in education.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 29th, 2016.