Over 0.1m children out of school in Charsadda

SHABQADAR: Despite claims from the government about turning around the education sector in the province, over 100,000 children are still out of school in at least one district.

A survey report issued by the Charsadda district education department, over 102,249 children between the ages of four and 17 years-of-age are still out of school in the district.

Of these, 41,010 are boys while an overwhelming 61,177 are girls.

The survey report had been compiled by 1,621 teachers across the district to determine the exact number of children not in school ahead of an enrolment drive in the district.

Apart from pinpointing the exact number of children not in school, the survey revealed that poverty, lack of awareness about the importance of education, preference is given to boys over girls and early marriages are the key reasons contributing to keeping children out of school.

The survey also minutely looked at the ages of children who were not in school. It found that around 2,262 boys and 5,961 girls, who were of six years-of-age, were not in schools.

Similarly, as many as 19,847children, who were between the ages of seven to 11 years-of-age, were not in school. A further 35,525 children between the ages of 12 to 17 were not in school including 12,413 boys and the rest girls.

Charsadda District Education Officer Siraj Muhammad Khan said that the survey had been conducted to determine the real picture of the out-of-school problem which would help direct efforts for the next enrollment drive in the district.

He added that ratio and number of children not going to school varies between the urban and rural settings where most parents prefer to enrol their children into skill centres to learn some trade. In some areas, he lamented, people were simply unaware of education opportunities.

However, in most of the areas, girls are married off young  — as evidenced by how a lot of the out-of-school girls are in the pubescent age.

Moreover, he said that most of the parents prefer to have their sons educated rather than their girls.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 15th, 2018.

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