Girls' education campaigns

Missing Out Map

© UNICEF Pakistan 2004/Zaidi
Students at a government primary school near Islamabad mapping out-of-school children from their home villages.

Finding children who are missing out on their education; majority are girls

Sadia, Umbreen and Mamoona have been busy during Global Action Week 2004. These Grade 4 students at a government primary school on the outskirts of Islamabad have been looking for out-of-school children and have found 218 from their home villages of Mehra Badi, Badia Qadir Bakhsh and Mehra Ako.

Seventy-eight students, boys and girls, from the Government Primary School, St 74, G11/2, Islamabad, went into their villages, gathered information and created Missing Out maps. They then presented their results at a morning assembly and shared stories about why children were not able to attend school. They found that the majority of out-of-school children are girls, and the most common reason for not attending school is poverty. One student tried to convince her neighbour to come to school. But her neighbour replied that even if her mother was able to pay the school fees, she would not be able to buy the necessary books, school uniform and shoes.

The mapping out-of-school children activities were planned in fifty schools in and around Islamabad and in sixty other districts across the country. The exercise was used to raise awareness among children of their right to education, and to show that many children in their own neighbourhoods are deprived of this right. The maps were used to engage politicians and parents visiting schools during Global Action Week in discussions about the need to ensure that every child enjoys their right to a quality education. 

Many of the students were astonished to learn that so many children are not in school and said they felt privileged to be able to attend school.

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