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Students in a classroom on April 1, 2010 in Lahore. — AP Photo/File

ISLAMABAD, Oct 18: Released in the wake of an armed attack on teenage education activist Malala Yousufzai, the Education for All Global Monitoring Report shows that Pakistan’s progress in getting poor girls into schools is less than half that of India’s and Nepal’s and a quarter of Bangladesh’s.

The report released by Unesco here on Thursday reveals that though Pakistan has the second largest number of out-of-school girls in the world, yet it has reduced the amount it spends on education to less than 2.3 per cent of GNP. Only nine low- and lower-middle-income countries spend a smaller share on education.  The barriers to education faced by Pakistani girls are stark in comparison with the rest of South Asia.

These findings were issued by the World Inequalities Database of Education, a website of the EFA Global Monitoring Report team, showing how factors such as gender, poverty, location and ethnicity affect a child’s chances at education.

A two-thirds of the out-of-school children in Pakistan are girls; only 16 countries have a worse rate.

Pakistan has the second highest number of out-of-school children in the world – five million.

The country’s progress in reducing the number of poor girls being denied a chance of education has been too slow. The percentage of poorest girls out of school has fallen from 78 per cent to 62 per cent, a much smaller drop than in India (from 66 per cent to 30 per cent), Nepal (52 per cent to 22 per cent) and Bangladesh (91 per cent to 44 per cent).

EFA Global Monitoring Report Director Pauline Rose said that “since 1999 when governments around the world committed to getting all children into school, countries like Pakistan have managed to consistently fail to address” the issue.

“We must put girls first if we’re to crack this challenge. Two-thirds of girls in the poorest areas in Pakistan are still not getting the chance of an education – a rate that is not appropriate for 21st century.”

According to the report, although the number of Pakistani children denied education is surpassed only by Nigeria, the country has reduced spending on education from 2.6 per cent of GNP in 1999 to 2.3 per cent today.

“The hope is that the tragic violence against Malala will bring shame on a country which has ignored the rights of its girls to an education for too long. Pakistan spends less on education than it spends to subsidise just three of its loss-making public sector enterprises – the national airline (and the) steel and electricity companies. Pakistan also spends less on education than it does on the military. Its priorities have to change,” the UN official said.

The Global Monitoring Report 2012 shows over a third of young Pakistanis – 12 million – do not have the skills they need for work. This is the second highest number of unskilled young people in the world.

Comments (59) Closed

GTC450 Oct 19, 2012 04:35pm
Why is Pakistan compared to India, it's like comparing Mexico and USA
taranveer Singh Oct 20, 2012 06:33am
in 1947 India was divided so that Muslims and Hindus can get equal resources per capita in pak and India respectively. but more than half Muslims decided to stay in India. so less than half Muslims who decided to live in pak got resources and land which were given to whole Muslim population. and on the Indian side resources and land which were for other non Muslims like Hindus Sikhs and Buddhist were also shared by hundreds millions of muslims. so Muslims in pak got 250 percent of resources per capita when comparing with Indian people. they got large fertile Punjab, beautiful SWAT mineral rich bloachistan , coastal sindh. that was injustice for India. pakistani people got more than double share than deserving share. so pak was richer country than India. they always made fun of poverty of India. but pak was not richer because of their brilliance. pak was richer because India was catering more than half Muslim population. if all Muslims live in pak and all Hindu live in India according to 1947 divide, picture on pak side can be super miserable and on India side can improve. still because of Indians were more brilliant now India has 30 percent more per capita income than pak.
Abdur Razzaque Oct 20, 2012 04:37am
It is nothing rather than the lacking of all the Pakistani govt. sponsorship in the field of girls education.
Mohinder sandhu Oct 19, 2012 06:32pm
Pakistan is nuclear power,what else you want??
Syed Amin uddin (@khiz_bikerz) Oct 19, 2012 07:24am
Just because of so called fake mullahs
Ira Oct 19, 2012 04:39pm
Not a conspiracy, we possess alot of self destructrive traits . Lets look at ourselves before we blame others !
salman Oct 19, 2012 01:17pm
For all this backwardness we (Pakistani nation) are responsible. Why we select such representatives who cannot deliver our basic right of education to us,which is also mentioned in constitution of Pakistan as well. Manly there are two reasons 1- Those who have no awareness about there basic rights, vote in elections mostly. They belong to lower strata of our society, they vote as per instructions of feudals. 2- Those who have awareness; elite class of country is so complacent and they have no time to cast their vote.
ROHIT PANDEY Oct 20, 2012 10:06am
p r sharma Oct 20, 2012 12:43am
Not at all a surprise. this is well visible.
aqabdulaziz Oct 20, 2012 01:03am
Increase from 3 to 15? Are you kidding me? Where will the money come from? they will print more and the inflation will go out of control.
Artha Jain Oct 19, 2012 06:04pm
Tamils are not the only people living in Tamil Nadu.. A lot of North Indians also live there
nandkishor Oct 20, 2012 05:09am
most of indian muslim girls are also not getting proper education due to lack of awareness.
G M Patra Oct 20, 2012 01:17pm
By birth I belong to a business community in India, I remember all community members were against education specially college education. Reason given was that i could make more money by joining our busness than working in any job after the education. Girls were not allowed even for High school. Muslims were even more against education specially for girls.
p r sharma Oct 20, 2012 01:35am
"Pakistan has the second highest number of out-of-school children in the world
Ajay Oct 20, 2012 08:31am
Because just 65 yrs ago they were the same country and if anything pakistan was in a better position due to higher per capita resources available. Wether you like it or not this natural comparison will be continued to made. what surprises me is that, India with almost 6.5 time larger population has lower number of girls out of school. And that too when India has almost same muslim population as pakistan and the popular narrative is that muslims are discriminated and supressed in India.
Pradeep Oct 19, 2012 01:28pm
Bangladesh (not a nuclear power) is a remarkable success story in South Asia and every other Country around can take a cue from it.
Nina Oct 19, 2012 03:12pm
We have to change according to Time. Beginning of last century even in India ( United India) Girls education was limited. My grandmother (born 1905) got education till 4th grade ( primary),the high-school ( in Goa) was far from her house so she was denied and got her married at age of 12. She came to Bombay (Mumbai) and my mother (born 1932) studied till SSC (11th) and she was denied college education and got her married at age of 19th. My mother made a point that she will give her daughters full education. My elder sister is MD ( Pediatrics) and I did my masters in Statistics. See the progress, otherwise we would have been at the same levels as girls from Afghanistan/Pakistan (Rural area).
Khan Oct 19, 2012 06:09pm
Oh really! Was that news? I really missed here.
Allah ka Banda Oct 19, 2012 02:58pm
Pakistan Jindabad!
Prashant Oct 19, 2012 05:42pm
Why only Southern states..Come to Bihar to see girls paddling away to their schools..With free lunch free books and free bicycle..I would not vouche for quality of education though..:-). Kerala and Bengal are by far the leaders.. My state Bihar is catching up, lately have made lots of progress, way to go though, Punjab, Hariyana has lots of soul searching to do..And yeah forget Sikkim at your own peril..
Nasser Ali Khan Oct 19, 2012 04:55pm
This is not news. We all know this; and the reason is simple. Education, more than anything else, creates more awareness and that is dangerous for the ruling class. However, the blame should be placed more on the parents, who although poor, believe their security is in having more sons who can toil the land or get a daily wage. The fact that girls can do the same does not so appear to them. In trying to get sons (not just one, because of the high mortality rate) they keep trying and more and more daughters, mostly unwanted, are born. If they can behave like this as parents, how can one really blame others?
ROHIT PANDEY Oct 19, 2012 01:53pm
I don't think so/ But,I appreciate the fact that you are trying to be nice!
muzzy Oct 19, 2012 09:00am
rahul Oct 19, 2012 06:05am
What one can say about it -"Priorities must change"..Atleast now, pakistan should concentrate more on education sector than buying new toy's from developed countries making them even rich ..why don't we understand the fact, both India & Pak can't afford to war..An Educated pakistan is more stronger than Nuclear powered pakistan, same thing applies to even India....
Not Nafis Oct 19, 2012 06:01am
Quality education for all children is not the top priority for Pakistan. The ultimate aim and objective for Pakistan is to invade and conquer India and master over all of its riches like in the past. That way all Pakistanis could become wealthy, have several hindu servants and slaves and live a decent, high quality life without having any education. So the top priority for Pakistanis must be to spend all the money on their military and make this dream a reality.
Raw Agent Oct 19, 2012 05:51am
India initiated a very good program to attract poor children to school. It is called Mid-Day Meal Programme where in children who comes to school for education gets afternoon food free of cost. Not to mention education up-to class 8 is free of cost in India (Government Schools)
Okhajut Oct 20, 2012 11:19pm
When the Prophet himself has stressed so much on Education (making it a religious obligation) for both Male AND Females, I cannot simply understand as to how in the world there is so much illiteracy in the Muslim communities, particularly the girls.
Laxman Oct 20, 2012 09:46pm
But we are all tamils
Kunal Oct 20, 2012 04:20pm
Actually distributing cycle to the girls did the trick for most states . Noe problem will be higher education millions will come out from school in next few years and we don't have enough colleges.Govt is trying a lot to create as many colleges as quickly possible but still the progress is slow.
sal Oct 19, 2012 01:23pm
Its no wonder that Pakistan's ranking continualy fail when the country's rulers (no not the politicians) reduce education money - for more misslies. The fuedals play a part by refusing to build schools on 'their' land.
saad ur rehman Oct 19, 2012 07:30am
one has to thank the feudal system in Sindh and Balochistan and in some part ignorance in Punjab and the taliban in the fata region .But it hould also be in mind that schools are blown up be it by taliban or the bla or other nutjobs. it is surprising people from other parts of Pakistan make fun of people from KPK or Gilgit-baltistan as warmongering idiot but in many areas in the north girls are sent to school and not barred.
Nasser Ali Khan Oct 20, 2012 02:51pm
India is one of the poorest countries in the world - with nearly 70% of the population at below the poverty line. Pakistan, in spite of its current problems, is better. You only need to visit these 2 countries, if nothing else. Having said this, both nations should be ashamed of themselves for allowing so much suffering to their own people.
Fahim Oct 19, 2012 07:25am
no wonder india leaves pakistan behind in everything and india is progressive...
Kamal Khan Oct 20, 2012 12:38am
why is this news?
Krish Chennai Oct 19, 2012 12:51pm
The mid-day meal scheme to make parents send their girls and boys to school instead of make them till the farms or perform chores, was first initiated by the Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu in India, Mr Kamaraj, and then MGR, and the successful example was subsequently followed by other states in India, and several countries worldwide.
Mohdudul Huq Oct 19, 2012 12:52pm
All Muslim countries are behind in every respect. It is one kind of conspiracy by unknown hands.
Ravindra sanap Oct 19, 2012 11:00am
Dont worry buddy,you are ahead of india in cricket !
raika45 Oct 19, 2012 02:23pm
There has been a thought that has been troubling me for years.The photograph of the little girl has made me ask a question that for long has been dodging me.Of all the publications I comment on, I find that only yours has some sense and sensibility.Well here goes.Your Allah,my Waheguru and the God of Christians and so on and so forth is supposed to have a value of peace and justice.We will call this omnipresent being as the all mighty to simplify things.If this all mighty has total control over things, why is it that we have children especially of the poor to suffer life?You and other third world countries have thousands of children homeless in the streets.Children who starve to death.Children made sex tools.Why is the omnipresent one treating them such? Are they not his creation? So the question arises; what is going on?So the question arises,is there such an omnipresent power?If so why do our defenseless children have to bear the sorrows in their life which is not their doing?
wilsonnadar Oct 19, 2012 04:26pm
I am one of them, who benefited from that meal program. I am from a small village from Tamilnadu, My parents motivation to send me to school was free lunch, milk powder & Palm oil. Now I am an engineer, living in Toronto.
andleeb Oct 19, 2012 05:33am
We are better than Sudan.
Tuglaq Oct 19, 2012 03:27pm
Nothing unknown about it. You know who the culprits are. Have you forgotten Malala already?
Wali Mohammad Oct 19, 2012 11:16am
Education never ever been the priority of the any governments of Islamic Republic of Pakistan because rulers and elite class people prefer to send their children abroad instead here in Pakistan.
ROHIT PANDEY Oct 19, 2012 06:16am
I come from the south Indian state of Tamil is a state that is ruled by officially atheist political parties the DMK and the AIADMK . They have a reformist agenda and one the places where they have succeeded is in the field of women's education. They have been ruling Tamil Nadu from 1968,when the Congress government was displaced and they have been pursuing a reformist agenda,,and today the literacy rate in Tamil Nadu is about 82% Children are given a free lunch at noon and girls from rural areas are given free bicycles to go to school. The neighboring state of Kerala has the highest literacy rate in India- over a 95% and the state is oftentimes ruled by the Communist Party. Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka,the other two states too are doing well in education too!. Since all these statistics are never covered by the Pakistani press ( it is available in wiki!) I am doing it here for the benefit of Dawn readers.
zoxo100 Oct 19, 2012 06:40am
I blame the government-that is why PTI must win the next elections as Imran has vowed to increase education budget from the measely 3% to 15% per annum. with all children to be in schools. Pakistan has the potential and hard working men and women but useless , louzy, inept, self serving government which has held pakistan back. I pray PTI comes in,
deepak Oct 19, 2012 12:34pm
I don't understand.. Does sleeping pakistan needs a bullet on a innocent to wake it up ... why they didn't wake up when schools were getting destroyed...
raja hindustani Oct 19, 2012 06:17pm
If you educate a boy, only one man become literate but if you educate a girl, whole family become literate. Girls play role of wife & mother when she grow up and if she is educate then whole family will be educated.
kamil Oct 20, 2012 08:07am
Pakistani govt is always doing good for its people in all spheres of life but the people seem un-thankful and insincere with the govt. the day before yesterday a team from SAARC Countries was visiting Islamabad. the individuals said that pakistan is doing good in all fields of life.
Manny Oct 20, 2012 02:26am
Nepal is not a muslim country, you genius!
srini Oct 19, 2012 05:00pm
Sakthi, I hope you know that there are millions of non-Tamilians living in Tamil Nadu, and are thriving successfully, for time immemorial.
Raw is War Oct 19, 2012 02:59pm
no chance.
srini Oct 19, 2012 04:58pm
I think Pakistan should strive to achieve the goals of Islam. Islam expressly indicates that women's sole purpose in life is to be slaves of men. They are brought into the world to serve men just like goats, and other animals. Where is the question of women's education. If you embark on that, you will be violating the fundamental principles of Islam. you will not be considered as pure muslim by Allah, on judgement day. So follow the Talibans, who are the true Islamic heroes as they are the one following Quran to its last words. This article and suggestions to educate women are blasphemous.
ROHIT PANDEY Oct 19, 2012 05:19pm
I am not a Tamil...but I was born in Salem and brought up in Madras aka Chennai!
Ahmer Oct 19, 2012 05:32pm
Even below Bangladesh and Nepal. Shameful.
khan Oct 19, 2012 05:31pm
I do not think there is any conspiracy, but in muslim rules countries there are too many restriction on everything and if someone try to initiate a good ideas, rightaways there are many fatawa against that individual and put that individual life in danger, no one stand behind it, so there are many scholar people in every communities, including muslim, but because of this scare, no one want to come forward. when you see well power and secure politician are not safe, what about ordinary person. Also well educated people even sprinkle rose petal and encourage wrong path, how tou justify conspiracy?
Tariq Oct 19, 2012 05:43pm
This is shameful statistics reading. It's another sphere that our country shines like a sore thumb! we can thank our previous and the present "visionless" leadership who will keep the nation's female population ignorant and in the dark not far from the Talibans version of the Sharia!
Kamaal Oct 19, 2012 05:09pm
Hand is known to everyone....Its sharia law (whether fully or partially implemented)....
Noman Oct 19, 2012 12:03pm
what a surprise!
kuldip gupta Oct 19, 2012 05:29pm
When you close a school, you open a Jail. Pakistan has been doing that
Sakthi Oct 19, 2012 12:36pm
Thanks dude for putting up the Tamil nadu stat but ur name not look like Tamil., Anyway cheers.