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Report Reveals 26.2 Million Children Out of School in Pakistan

Alarming Number of Out-of-School Children Revealed in Pakistan Education Statistics

A recent analysis of Pakistan’s education statistics for the academic year 2021-22 has unveiled a staggering revelation regarding the number of Out-of-School Children (OOSC), which has reached an alarming proportion of 26.20 million.

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How many children are out of School in Pakistan

Released today in a preliminary teaser, the findings underscore the critical state of education accessibility in the country. The breakdown by provinces reveals the following numbers of out-of-school children:

  • Punjab (11.73 million),
  • Sindh (7.63 million), KPK (3.63 million),
  • Balochistan (3.13 million), and
  • Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) with 0.08 million out-of-school students.

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Furthermore, 39% of children in the school-going age group are currently out of school, indicating a persistent challenge in ensuring universal education. Balochistan stands out with the highest percentage, where a staggering 65% of children are out of school, while ICT reports the lowest percentage. In comparison among the major provinces, KPK fares better with a 30% out-of-school rate. Despite a decrease in the percentage of out-of-school children from 44% in 2016-17 to 39% in 2021-22, the absolute number has surged from 22.02 million to 26.21 million during the same period. This increase is primarily attributed to the population growth rate outpacing the decrease in out-of-school children.

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At the higher secondary level, a disconcerting 60% of children are out of school in 2021-22. Further analysis reveals 44%, 30%, and 36% out-of-school rates at high, middle, and primary levels respectively.

A substantial portion of the out-of-school children, totaling 10.77 million, is at the primary level, emphasizing the urgent need for targeted interventions. Economic disparities play a significant role in educational access, with children from the poorest quintile facing the highest disadvantage, evident across all education levels.

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Detailed insights into economic disparities and additional statistics will be unveiled during a comprehensive release scheduled for Monday in PIE Islamabad.

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