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KARACHI: All provinces outshone Sindh in literacy rate as its school girls’ enrollment has declined while dropout ratio has risen despite having a huge annual education budget.
According to details, the enrollment ratio of school girls in Sindh has declined to 39% as compared to 61% of boys. On average, the overall dropout rate in primary classes in Sindh is 23%.
The investigative report based on research, interviews of stakeholders and filed observations says in rural areas, the main reason of low enrollment and high dropout is location of schools 5 to 10 kilometers away from villages and other settlements.
Moreover, other reasons are corruption from top to taluka level in school funds, non-availability of transport, poverty, age above 13 (parent disallow girls), harassment of girls along schools routes by disobedient people, price hike, and non-availability of female teachers in almost 99% schools.
According to a report of Alif Ailan, an organization which records enrolment and dropouts, the major reasons for girls’ dropout are parents needing help with work (29%) and parents not allowing them to continue (27%). For girls, access is also an issue: among boys, only 5% dropout because their school is too far, compared to 13% of girls.
A latest Economic Survey of Pakistan 2019 report says that literacy rate of females and males in Sindh has decreased from 63.0% to 62.2%, triggering a new challenge for the Sindh’s education department. However, the literacy rate has increased in three other provinces of the country. This rate has increased in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from 54.1% to 55.3%, in Punjab from 61.9% to 64.7% and in Balochistan from 54.3% to 55.5% .