Dismal education outlook


Notwithstanding the education emergency and various other programs initiated by the successive governments to improve literacy rate, unbelievably high rate of dropout of children, especially girls, has long plagued the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province’s education system, which has been rendered largely ineffective to tackle the dropout issue.
On top of the dismal scenario, various other factors including glaring mismanagement, incoherent follow-ups and lackluster response on part of the parents have also impeded any positive outcome to bring down the dropout rate or bring the out-of-school children back to school. Other factors like the lack of school buildings, required facilities and teachers are also responsible for the high dropout trend.
A proposal submitted by the elementary and secondary education department for approval to the provincial government has revealed that over 15,000 additional schools are needed for the enrolment of out-of-school children.
According to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government’s own figures, apart from the fresh dropouts, there are at least 4.7 million children who do not go to school, a figure that is equal to the population size of a small Western country.
As per statistics, there are around 29,000 primary schools in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. As against this figure, there are only 5000 schools for secondary education, depriving a large number of girls in far off areas from receiving middle and high level education.
The report mentions that there are at least 2.9 million girls in the province, who have never seen a classroom. To address the issue of out-of-school children requires collective efforts and effective strategies for result oriented enrolments and retention.
The concept of remote learning and positive community engagement are also necessary to boost the literacy rate.
To achieve the targets of Sustainable Development Goals-4, especially when it comes to educating those children who have dropped out or those who are out-o- school, it is imperative for the provincial government to plan and act upon multiple alternative measures to ensure that no child is left out in the education process in this modern age.
As education is a provincial subject, the education department’s strategies must be clearly defining short term as well as long term goals to improve the dismal situation of educational facilities. The report postulates that the state of education in the province is absolutely pathetic.
It is an established fact that no society can progress if it fails to provide education to its children and continues to bring up intellectually poor people. It is high time for the government to bring reforms and allocate more funds in the national as well as the provincial budgets towards education. Schooling must be accessible to all in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.