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Poverty, early marriages impeding girls’ education

Poverty, early marriages and long distance from schools are the major causes of low enrolment of girls in four districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

It was revealed in a research report launched by the Children’s Global Network Pakistan (CGN-P) with a title ‘Identifying Impediments to Girls Education in Kohat, Buner, Haripur and Charsadda districts’, according to a statement issued here.

The report, launched at a ceremony here, highlights the barriers faced by girls in pursuit of education, the causes which contribute to low enrollment of girls in schools and factors causing high dropout rates, and suggests measures which could be taken by the community, parents, teachers and the education department to help increase girls’ enrolment and retention in schools.

It stated that an increase in girls’ dropout rate was observed at the middle school level where parents stopped sending their daughters to schools on account of either safety concerns, poverty or early marriages.

The report, however, said that the KP government’s stipend programme was pivotal to increasing girls’ enrolment and retention in schools, which also encouraged the parents to continue their daughters’ education.

It said that education was free and the girls were also provided a stipend of Rs200 per month on maintaining 75 per cent school attendance so that the girls mostly from humble backgrounds could fulfil their educational needs.

It notes that the government’s monitoring and data driven reforms, teachers’ recruitment through National Testing Service, provision of free books and activities like summer camps are helping in improving the education landscape in KP.

The report suggests that an assessment to determine the number of children with special needs should be conducted across the districts so as to cater to their needs. It also recommends that vocational training component should be added to the school curriculum to encourage parents to see more value in educating their girls. It also suggests measures to address safety concerns by improving child protection through introduction of help lines to report child abuse and corporal punishment.

Source: Dawn

Byline: Bureau Report

December 23, 2016

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