As many as 290,000 children between the age of five and 16 are out-of-school in Lahore, Alif Ailaan (AA) coordinator Umair Asif said on Thursday.
Citing the organisation’s District Education Ranking 2015, he said buildings of 127 public schools in the district were in poor condition.
Asif shared the data at the Lahore Education Conference 2015 at the University of Management and Technology (UMT), Lahore. Alif Ailaan had organised the conference in collaboration with the Kafka Welfare Organisation.
According to the AA ranking, Lahore district stands third in the country in terms of district scores for primary-level education. It was awarded a learning score of 62.54 out of 100. For middle-level education, the district was ranked 23rd.
Lahore also has the lowest student retention score of 69.69 in Pakistan, according to the ranking. In the infrastructure ranking, Lahore scored the least (83.96) points for condition of primary school buildings. It got 92.24 points for condition of middle-level school buildings.
Asif said that in Lahore district the literacy rate among girls in rural areas was 57 per cent. It was 78 per cent in urban areas.
Former MNA Fareed Paracha said the government should ban O-level and A-level in the country. “It should also provide quality education in Pakistan,” he said. He said that proficiency in English was often used in Pakistan to gauge the quality of education. He said there was a lack of research at all levels. He blamed the bureaucracy for the state of education.
Other speakers discussed the issue of access to good quality education in the country.
MPAs Sadia Sohail Rana and Sardar Hasan Mokal, UMT Social Sciences Dean Abdul Hameed, UMT Department of Education Chairperson Seema Arif, columnist Mujahid Mansoori and ASER Pakistan’s Saher Saeed also spoke on the occasion.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 11th, 2015.