The number of out-of-school children has reached 187.5 million in Pakistan, confirmed the education minister Shafqat Mahmood. While addressing the cabinet he said one in every four children in the country had never attended a school. Moreover, sources confirmed that the education minister also claimed that there was also very low progress on the education participation, completion, and closing of the gender gap.
Education minister highlighted in front of the cabinet that Balochistan had the lowest participation rate and highest rate of children who were not enrolled in schools. The increasing public expenditures are not being utilised for education, there is a need to focus on targeted solutions and the increasing efficiency of financing.
A summary of the school aged children which are not going to school presented in front of the cabinet. In the summary it is briefed that Pakistan had 63.3 million school age children. The learning poverty rate has reached 75 percent while 55 pc adults have not been given the education for jobs they work.
He further added that, “these statistics show a very serious situation of both foundational skills and their significance for productivity and growth. The economic growth is only possible through an educated workforce. Otherwise the negligence in bridging children and youth in schools will cause high poverty rates and acceleration in child labour”.
The summary besides proposing other actions also said the government will utilise the existing curriculum to develop training materials for caregivers, adding there was a need to provide basic teaching and learning tools and aides. While presenting the summary road map said to inaugurate formal class rooms with minimum quality standards happens in a systematic manner.
It also called for rapid evaluation of the various early grade reading support initiatives introduced in the country (through USAID, Unicef and NGOs) to ensure a more effective and viable approach to schools in districts with higher dropout rates.
The roadmap also proposed providing dedicated and free/subsidized bus/van services for girls and female teachers in secondary schools. Meanwhile, the cabinet approved in principle a draft bill to establish an institute with a clear mandate to guide policy analysis and resource allocations through data assessment, research, and analysis.
The Pakistan Institute of Education would be set up after merging the Academy of Educational Planning and Management and National Education Assessment System of the education ministry. The cabinet decided to refer the bill to parliament for legislation.