News Details

Number of out-of-school children increases by 5 percent in rural Punjab: Mashable Pakistan

The statistic was revealed by the Annual Status of Education Report Punjab 2021

“About six per cent girls and eight per cent boys are out of school in the rural districts of Punjab,” according to the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) - Punjab Rural 2021. That’s a five per cent jump in the total percentage of out of school children compared to 2019.

This report, that focuses exclusively on Punjab’s rural areas, comes a month after the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2021 was launched. The latter had revealed that 19% of children in the country remained out of school last year.

The ASER - Punjab rural is based on a citizen-led survey conducted by the Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA). 20,062 households from 35 districts in Punjab were included. 51,067 children (54pc males, 46pc females) belonging to the age group of 3 to 16 years took part in the survey. 910 government schools and 446 private schools were also surveyed

For the first time ever the number of out-of-school boys (8pc) has exceeded the number of out-of-school girls (6pc) in rural areas. Dropout rates also remain high for 2021 at 8 percent.

The increase in out-of-school children (OOSC) occurred nationwide during the Covid-19 pandemic as more and more children turned to child labor to help thier families make ends meet. The report calls for urgent action to address the losses in learning that have occurred due to the pandemic.

For early childhood education – children aged 3 to 5 years – the proportion of children enrolled in 2021 (43pc) decreased by 9 percent compared to 2019 (52 percent).

As is usually the case, children enrolled in private schools performed better on Urdu and arithmetic tests than their public school peers.

Only 68 percent of grade 5 children could read a grade 2 level story in Urdu, compared to 75 percent in 2019. English learning levels (for 5th graders) improved slightly with 73 percent able to read grade 2 level English sentences compared to 71 percent in 2019.

During Covid-19 most children received learning support through PTV tele school sessions, family members, the internet, tuitions or radio programs.


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