A report published by Alif Ailaan for 2015-2016 published statistics reporting that although the overall number of out-of-school had fallen from 24 million to 22.6 million, it is still a very high number and the country needs rigorous implementation of education reforms.
Unfortunately the state of affairs of education in the country is dismal. About 44pc children in the age group of five to sixteen are not enrolled in school due to various reasons while about 21pc primary schools have only one teacher where the curriculum is most probably not changed for decades. Further some rural schools are so ill equipped that they only have one room.
However, only 30pc children of school going age remain enrolled in school from grade one to tenth.
The infrastructure of the schools is even worse – public (government-owned) primary schools had to work in the heat or cold without electricity, affecting the performance of the students. Moreover, 28pc of schools were without toilets, 25pc did not have boundary walls, and 29pc had to operate without access to drinking water. Worse still 7pc of schools in the country did not even have a building.
Balochistan, already the most neglected province, doesn’t inspire much hope as it has the highest number of out-of-school children, followed then by Fata.
“As many as 70pc children in Balochistan and 58pc in Fata are out of school,” the report says.
The situation is despicable and the government really needs to work on this sector most. The security and defense budget has to be high, yes, but after that the education sector needs the most attention since these children are our future.
Bitter though as these facts might be, they represent a hard truth in this country. As late as 2015-2016 and that too in the 21st century we still have not managed to secure the basic right of providing education to every Pakistani child.