PESHAWAR: More than 1.8 million children are out of school in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa mainly due to lack of interest, poverty and absence of schools, revealed a survey of the Elementary and Secondary Education Department.
The education department had completed the survey in more than one year at a cost of Rs227 million.
The survey’s findings, which are available with Dawn, showed that the out-of-school children in the province were 23 per cent of the total population of the children 5-17 years.
Survey finds people’s disinterest, poverty, absence of schools responsible for it
Of the out-of-school children, 64pc are girls and 36pc boys.
Out of the total children, at least 1.152 million (64pc) are reported as ‘never enrolled’ and 0.648 million (36pc) as ‘previously enrolled’ or dropped out. Both incidences of ‘never enrolment’ and ‘previous enrollment’ are substantially higher for girls than boys.
Overall, 34pc boys across the province have never gone to school or dropped out against 66pc for girls.
A total of 4.52 million households were surveyed under the plan in 25 districts of the province. The total number of children aged between 0 and 17 is 12.08 million with boys 6.358 million (52.63pc) outnumbering girls 5.722 million (47.37pc).
According to the survey, of the out-of-school children, 31 percent do not attend schools due to lack of interest, 28 per cent due to poverty and 17 per cent due to absence of schools in the respective areas.
During the data analysis, the reason of lack of interest was that citizens have little confidence in education system or the ability for education to be productive in the long run.
Of the total enrolled children, 61.52pc are getting education in the government schools, 31.86pc in private schools and around 3pc children in seminaries.
The children, who go to government schools, are 42pc of the girls and 58pc of the boys. Interestingly, the districts adjoining Fata show more girls taking seminary education than boys.
According to the survey findings, the district of Abbottabad has the highest enrollment rate in the province followed by Haripur district, while the next place in the enrollment list is shared by districts of Malakand and Chitral.
The districts of Shangla and Torghar are at the bottom of the enrollment list respectively.
Abbottabad district has the lowest number of children, who have never been enrolled, while the districts of Shangla and Torghar are the bottom of that list respectively.
Interestingly, for the ‘previously enrolled and dropped out’ figures, Buner has the highest figures of 16pc, while districts of Shangla, Torghar and Kohistan has 8pc, 7pc and 4pc dropout rate respectively.
The enumeration for the survey was conducted by the elementary and secondary education department, while the data management was carried out by the Centre for Public Policy Research (CPPR) at the Institute of Management Sciences, Peshawar.
To know the number and location of out-of-school children at the lowest administrative level, the elementary and secondary education department conducted a province wide census of households to ascertain the number and status of all children aged 0-17 years.
The survey had two primary objectives including to measure the number of children, among 0-17 years of age, not currently attending any type of school and to map the location of out-of-school children of the province particularly how many in each district and village.
Published in Dawn, May 2nd, 2018