Even though Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) has been ravaged by terrorism and floods in the recent past, a latest report, launched on Wednesday, suggests 85 per cent of children in the province are still enrolled in schools.
According to the Annual Status of Education Report 2011, only 15 per cent of children between the ages of five and 16 are currently out of school, out of whom 58.7 per cent are girls. The ratio of enrolment stands at 65 per cent for boys and 35 per cent for girls.
The survey was conducted by the South Asia Forum for Education Development, a forum managed by Idara-i-Taleem-o-Agahi. A total of 14 districts in the province were surveyed, covering 24,039 children from 8,274 households in 419 villages.
The data shows that 72 per cent students are enrolled in government schools and 27 per cent in private institutions. Only one per cent students are studying in madrassas and the dropout rate is estimated to be around five per cent.
However, poor learning outcome of the children remains a key concern. According to the report, 60 per cent of children cannot even read a sentence in Urdu or their own regional language. In addition to that, children’s mathematical performance was also found to be abysmally low, with only 42 per cent and 23 per cent children being able to carry out two-digit and three-digit calculations respectively.
The survey was conducted in Upper Dir, Swat, Battagram, Swabi, Mansehra, Abbottabad, Haripur, Charsadda, Mardan, Peshawar, Attock, Karak, Bannu, Tank and DI Khan. The project was funded by Foundation Open Society Institute, Department for International Development, National Commission for Human Development and Oxfam Novib.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 9th, 2012.