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Over a million girls still out of school in K-P

Around one million girls between the ages of five and 16 are still out of school in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

Despite claims made by the provincial government a total of 1,519,371 children are out of schools across the province— 1,014,419 girls and 504,952 boys.

According to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Elementary and Secondary Education Department’s ‘Out of schools children’ survey conducted in 2016, the number of children between the ages of five and 16 in the province is 7,472,348, of whom 5,952,977 are enrolled. The survey was conducted in over 4 million households in all 25 districts of the province.

The survey report categorised the reasons behind children being out of school. Lack of interest in school was the most common reason (26 per cent) followed by poverty (24 per cent) and distance from schools, no school, being underage, disability, no benefit of education, health issues and lack of school facilities (22 per cent).

Talking to The Express Tribune, an ESED official, requesting anonymity, shared that the provincial department had allocated Rs227 million in the 2015-16 budget to update the statistics on the number of children out of school.

He said that due to unavailability of funds, the survey was postponed twice.

He shared that the households were visited by 40,000 primary schoolteachers, including 7,500 teachers deputed as supervisors for the survey. Each teacher was responsible to visit 100 houses for data collection.

He said the incumbent government held enrolment campaigns twice every year and had managed to enrol 0.8 million children in schools.

He said that last year the enrolment campaign was 70 to 80 per cent successful. He said the provincial government was trying its best to reach the 100 per cent target by the end of its tenure.

Khattak said that it was a daunting task for the government to bring back the children who had dropped out because once they left they were not interested to attend school.

Zia, Asad. Over a million girls still out of school in K-P. The Express Tribune, October 5, 2017.

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