S. Nusrat, S. Butt

Society for Advancement of Education (PAKISTAN)
Several agreements for achieving Universal Primary Education (UPE), Education for All (EFA), and Millennium Development Goals (MDG) have been signed by the Pakistan government to address issues related to access and quality of education. Despite these commitments, Pakistan’s Education Task Force report states that roughly one in every ten of the world’s primary school age children lives in Pakistan, placing it second on the out-of-school global ranking. This research study investigates the profile of an out-of-school child (OOSC) by examining deep-rooted structural inequalities and disparities linked to income-poverty, exposure to child labour, location (urban or rural area, geographic sub-national regions) and gender. This study also serves as a starting point to understand the link between profiles of excluded children, the barriers and bottlenecks impeding retention as well as understanding the policy gaps. Based on a systematic analysis, it provides recommendations on creating a holistic policy response to address the multi-dimensional factors affecting school attendance, transition and completion rates at the primary and secondary levels of education in Pakistan. Analysis of profile data of OOSC can be used to devise localized interventions and equitable strategies that target the most vulnerable group of children.

To fully capture the complexity of the OOSC problem across various levels of disaggregation; age, gender, province, location, Statistical analysis of household survey data from the Pakistan Social and Living Standards Survey (PSLSM) was used to build the profiles OOSC and at risk children. The analysis has been deepened by primary data collection at the district level, covering household perceptions regarding education as well as enrolment trends.