Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

If you educate a man, you educate an individual. But if you educate a woman, you educate a nation.”     African Proverb

In Pakistan, a girl is already facing violence against her, such as rape, honour killing, acid attack, domestic violence, wage work, malnutrition, forced marriage, child marriage, and maternal mortality. To crown up all these brutalities, a rural girl is denied to fulfil their dreams of access to quality education. I have found that these girls highly desire education but society somehow stops them. Their wish “to be someone” had been crushed by being unable to study.

Education is the backbone of society and children are resources of future development of the nation. According to a UNICEF survey report, Pakistan has the world’s second-highest number of out of school children with an estimated 22.8 million children, aged 5-16, not attending the school. This represents 44 percent of the total population of that age group. In Sindh, 58% of girls are out of school, out of which 32% are primary school-age girls. Here, I would also like to share data of girls’ dropout in my school during the previous five years.

Year of in Katchi Class# of girls admittedYear of passing out (Grade-)V# of girls passed (Grade-V)
201041201506
201149201609
201251201704
201345201808
201448201908
23437
Status of girls’ enrollment and drop out in a public school of Thatha, Sindh

There is a significant difference between admitted and passed out girls. The people who deal with statistics will find that the passing out ratio is just 16 % but we know what does 197 out of 234 student’s dropout means. It means there will 197 families that will remain uneducated. Although such type of information is also available by World Bank Organization, UNESCO, UNICEF and so many other NGOs with detailed facts and figures but on the ground, there is no action seen for the solution against that problem. There is not any system available to measure that scale nor has any act of solution been done by our competent authorities. It’s a well-accepted fact that when a male is educated an individual is educated and when a female is educated a family is educated. Hundreds of causes of dropout are mentioned by different survey reports that are poverty, distance from school, irregular/untrained teachers. Poor quality of education, migrants, tribal culture are highly pointed out but government response is inadequate.

 Here I give an account of the problems that caused the dropout of some of the girls. The circumstances are made so bad for them that they had to sacrifice their dreams.

  1. Fatima:  A brilliant student with extraordinary guts left her study due to forced marriage.

2. Sadia: locked out of school because at the age of 10 girls of their family are not allowed to go out.

3. Shagufta: The two left their study supported their study and supported financially their widow mother.

4. BENAZIR: She wanted to become a doctor but left her study because her family shifted to the village.

We arranged several parent meetings, wrote letters to parents to bring these girls back to school but got no response.    

 

I just want to ask a question from my society that when according to Article25 (A) (Pakistan Constitution 1973), “Education is a fundamental right of every child” then why these girls are locked of education. Why this right has been snatched from a rural girl?

In this more educated world when the whole world is progressing at an unbelievable speed why our society is still the worst webbed in old customs. When our education system is unable to sustain the quantity, then how can it improve the quality.  So, there is a dire need to feel it. There is a need to take serious action against these customs.  There is a need for some law enforcement by our competent authorities to intervene in areas where girls’ dropout rate is high so that girls can easily complete their education without any hurdles and chains tied to their feet.

We live in an era where girls have a vision for their future. Let them follow that vision. Let this world become a better place for them. Let her live.

                                                                                                                                          

By Masooma Khushik.

The writer is a primary school teacher in district Thatha, Sindh.

6 thoughts on “The Problem of Worsening Girls’ Education in Pakistan”
  1. Thank you for bringing focus on a very important situation in the country and especially Sindh province. with around 6.6 million children out of school, majority being girls, dropout after enrolment is a major issue. Gender issues need to be tackled head-on to make progress.

    1. Thankyou so much.I think the dropout issue is directly proprtional to the success of our educational developmental process.

  2. Brilliant efforts by Masooma! Very courageously and correctly narrated the deprivations and injustice girls go through in the contemporary in contemporary Pakistani society.

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