The New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) interviewed 209 people, and released 111-page report titled ‘Shall I Feed My Daughter, or Educate Her?’: Barriers to Girls’ Education in Pakistan,” today (Nov 13), stated that Pakistan is still unable to provide basic education, especially to the girls.
According to facts and figures released by the report, “Nearly 22.5 million of Pakistan’s children – in a country with a population of just over 200 million – are out of school, the majority of them girls. Thirty-two percent of primary school age girls are out of school in Pakistan, compared with 21 percent of boys. By ninth grade, only 13 percent of girls are still in school”.
“The Pakistan government’s failure to educate children is having a devastating impact on millions of girls,” Liesl Gerntholtz, the women’s rights director at Human Rights Watch, stated in the report. “Many of the girls we interviewed are desperate to study, but instead are growing up without the education that would help them have options for their future.”
The reasons which keep girls out of school are “the government’s under-investment in schools, lack of schools, prohibitive school fees and related costs, corporal punishment, and a failure to enforce compulsory education. Human Rights Watch also found poor quality within both government and low-cost private schools, a lack of government regulation of private schools, and corruption”. Other factors like “girls are also blocked from attending school by external factors including child labor, gender discrimination, child marriage, sexual harassment, insecurity, and attacks on education”, are the reason of girls low education in Pakistan.
It is also stated that Pakistan government in 2017, spent less on education as compared to required international standards.
The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s manifesto promises major reforms to the education system, including for girls’ education. “We will prioritise establishment and upgradation of girls’ schools and provide stipends to girls and women for continuing their education,” the manifesto says.
“The government recognises that education reform is desperately needed and promises to make this a priority, especially for girls – a positive step,” Gerntholtz said. “We hope that our findings will help the government to diagnose the problems and identify solutions that will give every Pakistani girl a bright future.”
It is very alarming situation for Pakistan, and ruling government should take necessary actions to provide education, particularly to the girls and to increase the literacy rate of the country.
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17 November, 2019