50pc girls in KP out of schools: report

MINGORA, Nov 30: A study about finding out number of out of school children (OOSC) in Pakistan shows that 50 per cent girls don`t go to school in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

According to the study, which was launched at a special session here on Saturday, 28 per cent children were out of school in Swat, placing the district at 77 in the total 146 districts of Pakistan. The study, conducted by Alif Ailaan, which is working on education promotion, found that 25 million children in Pakistan were deprived of their constitutional right to education.

Alif Ailaan and Innovative Youth Forum (IYF), Swat jointly organised the session for journalists and local writers, where the study titled `25 Million Broken Promises: The Crisis of Pakistan`s Out-Of-School Children` was presented by Dr Jawad Iqbal, chairman of IYF and education activist for Alif Ailaan in Swat. Speaking on the occasion, he said that among children of primary-school-going age, almost one in every five children was not in school. `

The ratio of out of school children is reported high at higher level,` he said and added that at the higher-secondary level almost 85 per cent of children were not in schools. Dr Iqbal said that so many indicators were pointed out in the study, which caused increase in number of out of school children. `

Area of residence has an impact on a child`s access to education as both girls and boys face more difficulties in rural areas,` he explained. He said that children belonging to low-income families were nearly six times more likely to be out of school compared to the children growing up in rich families.

Replying to a question, he said that political commitment was needed to tackle this problem, adding that politicians were good at making promises but were unable to translate them into practical steps.

Dr Iqbal said that there were no agreed official figures about the number of out-of-school children in Pakistan. However, the study showed that there were an estimated 52.90 million children in Pakistan between the ages of 5 and 16 years, and almost half of them (25.02 million) were not in schools.–Dawn

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