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Education

EDUCATION

Education – especially that of girls and women – saves lives, reduces inequality and transforms communities
ILLITERACY
Literacy is defined as persons aged 15 or above who can “read” and “write”. According to this definition, Pakistanis officially reported to have 50% literacy rate. Which means half of its population is illiterate. With such family backgrounds, inflation, poverty and child labor this rate is expected to increase in future. Even for those who are termed as “Literate” are only able to read and write, which in today’s technology oriented world is still considered as illiteracy. Majority of the people forming the top controlling tier is almost unaware of technologies and technical mindset. Thus, causing the country to adopt the new technologies at a snail’s speed
Despite progress, girls and women continue to be discriminated against in accessing education and within education systems. 57 million children worldwide, including 31 million girls, are out of school and two thirds of illiterate adults are women. In developing countries, adolescent girls are more likely to drop-out of secondary school than boys, particularly in rural areas.
There are many reasons that prevent girls from going to school. Poverty, pregnancy, school-based violence, child marriage and discriminatory gender norms are some of the major obstacles to girls’ education worldwide. School fees, the threat of violence on the way to and in school, and the perceived benefits of girls’ domestic work also keep girls out-of-school. Pregnancy and child marriage cut short adolescent girls’ schooling before they have completed secondary school.

 

GENDER DISPARITY IN EDUCATION IN PAKISTAN

According to UNDP 2010 report, Pakistan ranked 120 in 146 countries in terms of Gender-related Development Index (GDI), and in terms of Gender Empowerment Measurement (GEM) ranking, it ranked 92 in 94 countries. Gender inequality in education can be measured in different ways. Gross and net enrollment rates and completion and drop-out rates are the ways to identify the gender inequality in education. Pakistan aims to achieve Millennium Development Goals and also aims to eliminate gender disparity at all levels of education by the year 2015. Elimination of gender disparity at all levels of education requires higher allocation of resources on women’s education. Strong gender disparities exist in literacy and educational attainment between rural and urban areas of Pakistan.

 

PRIMARY EDUCATION

Primary education is compulsory for every child in Pakistan, but due to culture, poverty, and child labor, Pakistan has been unable to achieve 100% enrollment at the primary level
The total enrollment in primary public sector is 11,840,719, and among them, 57% (6,776,536) are boys, and 43% (5,064,183) are girls. The 79%of all the primary students in Pakistan are enrolled in rural schools, and the gender enrollment ratios are 59% and 41% for boys and girls respectively in rural Pakistan. The private schools are mostly located in urban centers, and the total enrollment in private primary schools was 4,993,698.
These statistics shed some interesting facts about education in Pakistan; the gender disparity in education is much lower in urban places vis-à-vis rural areas. One of the possible explanations of this pattern is relatively stronger dominance of tribal, feudal and patriarchal traditions in rural areas. Moreover, there are very few employment opportunities for women in rural areas, and thus, there is very little financial incentive for families to send their girls to schools. However, it is interesting to note that, despite the meager representation of females in the education sector, the level of achievement of female students is consistently far higher than that of their counterpart male students. Girls generally outclass boys in examination, and they are also higher achievers in universities. Unfortunately, the majority of the girls never get an opportunity to develop their educational capabilities