Nearly three-quarters of Pakistan girls not in school

Published: December 12, 2012
New UN report shows out-of-school girls outnumber their male counterparts. PHOTO: REUTERS/ FILE

New UN report shows out-of-school girls outnumber their male counterparts. PHOTO: REUTERS/ FILE

ISLAMABAD: Nearly three quarters of young Pakistani girls are not enrolled in primary school and the number finishing five years in education has declined, a new UN and government report showed Wednesday.

The findings expose the miserable state of education for millions in Pakistan, where the Taliban shot 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai in the head in October to silence her campaign for the right to an education.

“Nearly half of primary school age children are not enrolled in school and among eligible girls the out of school proportion is closer to three-quarters. In absolute numbers, out-of-school girls outnumber their male counterparts,” it said.

“Completion rates to the fifth year of schooling have actually declined in the past five years,” it said. Fifty-five percent of all Pakistani adults are illiterate and among women the rate is closer to 75 percent, it added.

The report said women are denied their basic right to education and to a decent life.

“Females in Pakistan face discrimination, exploitation and abuse at many levels, starting with girls who are prevented from exercising their basic rights to education either because of traditional family practices, economic necessity or as a consequence of the destruction of schools by militants.”

On Monday, President Asif Ali Zardari pledged $10 million to help educate all girls by 2015 as part of a global fund set up in Malala’s name.

Ziauddin Yousafzai, Malala’s father, a former teacher and headmaster, has been appointed to help meet the global target.

His daughter, who is being treated in a British hospital after the attack on her school bus on October 9, will herself join the campaign when she is better.

Saba Gul Khattak, a member of Pakistan’s planning commission, confirmed that the country was lagging behind on its Millennium Development Goals, including on education.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • Saleem
    Dec 12, 2012 - 7:55PM

    The duffer generals and mullahs are to blame.Recommend

  • vasan
    Dec 12, 2012 - 8:10PM

    Pathetic state of affairs. Sorry sisters, you were unlucky to be born in Pakistan. With this kind of illiteracy problem among girls, the youth bulge often talked about to bring prosperity will only be due to pregnancy and nothing else.


  • Dec 12, 2012 - 8:15PM

    Pakistanis need to understand that educated girls will bring in an educated future and a mullahfied nation will not bring in a future


  • secularsheet
    Dec 12, 2012 - 8:19PM

    enlightened girl may started questioning deen hence education is denied periodRecommend

  • secularsheet
    Dec 12, 2012 - 10:14PM



  • Ali
    Dec 12, 2012 - 11:21PM

    In India all the muslim girls go to school……….muslims in India hate pakistan.accept it dear pakistan brothers.


  • Aniket
    Dec 12, 2012 - 11:44PM

    Wait……so 25% girls in Pakistan go to school?? That’s a shocker!!


  • Husain
    Dec 13, 2012 - 1:04AM

    Did you ask all the muslims of India personally. I happen to know few who don’t.


  • stuti
    Dec 13, 2012 - 3:17PM

    Ask them to join your country.


  • lionheart
    Dec 13, 2012 - 8:12PM

    From what i have experienced in my life. I have almost always seen that a Family in which the women are educated never stays behind. With the figures of girl child education in Pakistan so medieval The country is doomed for failure. It shall never be able to compete with the rest of the world. For the sake of your future generation…Please wake up!!!


  • Dec 14, 2012 - 8:17PM

    and are the taliban to blame for that as well? you don’t have schools for girls. you dont have infrastructure. these secular governments have been in power since inception of pakistan while the taliban came in what 2001? why weren’t we one of the ‘top nations’ in the world before 2001 if taliban ruined pakistan? oh i forgot secular governments and that too led by incompetent people are bound to fail sooner or later. if you have nearly perfect literacy rate then you have situation of norway or denmark where animal brothels become legal or south korea where some children commit suicide if they dont get past the uber-competitive entry tests to universities. i rest my case against secularism.


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