More than 7 million primary school-aged children in Pakistan missing out on education
ISLAMABAD, April 7 2012 – With the start of the new school year now underway, UNICEF is encouraging parents and communities around the country to ensure that all children of primary school-age are enrolled in class.
An estimated 7.3 million primary school aged children in Pakistan do not attend school, depriving them of their right to education, and preventing them from reaching their full potential. Around 20 million children in Pakistan, including those of primary school-age, are not in school.
“The realization of Pakistan’s vision for social and economic development depends on the success of its education system,” said UNICEF Pakistan Representative Dan Rohrmann. “Investing in children and their education is both a right in principle and in practice due to the positive impacts it has on so many socio-economic dimensions. It is therefore vital that all children in Pakistan, both boys and girls, have the opportunity to attend and complete their schooling.”
UNICEF is supporting the nationwide ‘Every Child in School’ campaign, which encourages parents and communities to ensure that all primary school aged children are enrolled for the new school year. A special focus is being placed on enrolling girls, who represent 57 per cent of primary school aged children who are not attending school. Girls from poor families in rural areas, for example, receive just over one year of education, on average, compared with boys from wealthy urban families who receive an average of more than nine years of education.
The right of children to receive an education is enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The 18th Amendment of the Pakistan Constitution is providing an added opportunity to realize this right as Article 25a requires the State to provide free and compulsory education to all children between the ages of five and 16, as determined by law.
“The disparities in education are influenced by multiple factors such as wealth, gender, ethnicity, geographic location, early learning opportunities, access and quality of learning and it is therefore critical that all those that can positively influence children's learning opportunities put their best foot forward to ensure that this year's start of schooling will be more successful than ever,” said Mr. Rohrmann.
“We must ensure that all children are in school. Free and quality education for all children, especially the most vulnerable and disadvantaged – and which is utilized by all children – is essential to Pakistan’s economic and social development. An investment in children is an investment in Pakistan's future,” added Mr. Rohrmann.
Amal Masud, Media Specialist, Mob: 0300-855-4539, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org