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September 20, 2016

24 million children out of school: statistics


September 20, 2016

Islamabad: The state of education for the children between the age of five and 16 years in the country is very sad. At least statistics suggest so.

According to the figures revealed by Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional Training Engr Muhammad Baligh-ur-Rehman during the National Convention of Parents arranged by the Rural Support Programme Network and Alif Ailaan, 24.02 million children in the country are out of school, while only 28 per cent children enrolled in the first grade reach 10th grade.

Also, at the primary level, 69 per cent dropouts take place in the first five years of schooling.Notwithstanding some improvement in public school facilities, a lot is still required as 44 per cent of schools do not have electricity, 34 per cent do not have drinkable water, 30 per cent do not have boundary walls and 28 per cent do not have bathroom facilities.

“It is a great pleasure for me to be here with you on the culmination event of the campaign titled ‘Parent Ittehad as Critical Mass to Demand Access to Quality Education.’ I am thrilled to see the participation of the parents and communities from various parts of the country here. Provision of education is the basic responsibility of the government but state alone could not fulfil its commitments and then the role of civil society and the organiSations like RSPN and Alif Ailaan becomes far more important,” the minister told participants.

He said such kinds of initiatives were indeed eye openers for the district, provincial and federal machineries to look rightly in to the issues.“We are here to work for the betterment of the country and specially to improve the state of education of our children. In this era, where technology is touching zenith, competitions in every field of life are much stronger and the market economies are replacing every other model, we have to work hard to educate our children for better future,” he said.

The minister said he was grateful to organisations like rural support programmes that were mobilising communities on the issues like education, and are enabling them through trainings on lobbying and advocacy.

The event was attended by Rural Support Programme Network Chairman Shoaib Sultan Khan, RSPN CEO Shandana Khan and Alif Ailaan Campaign Director Mosharraf Zaidi.The initiative is the part of national vision of universal access to the internet.

Interlinking of campuses of 100 universities under the HEC’s Smart Universities Project through Wi-Fi and video link is one of the recent advancements in education sector in Pakistan, state the State Minister.

The minister said the conference would bring all the stakeholders of education together to create a forum to accelerate the building of ICT infrastructure in Pakistan. He thanked and admired the efforts of the organisers and said that once being an engineering student himself he knows the importance of this conference. The minister said he was part of IEEE when he started doing engineering and that engineers wanted to know the solution of every problem and that was the best thing about them.

“Instead of criticising the system all the time, we all should think of the solutions of our educational problems in Pakistan,” he said. In the end, Vice Chancellor of Islamia University Bahawalpur Dr. Qaiser Mushtaq presented the shield of appreciation to the minister.


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