Punjab has seen the most reduction in Out-of-school Children (OOSC) in classes 1-12 and age bracket of 5-16 years, according to the Pakistan Education Statistics Report 2015-16 launched yesterday.
According to the report, OOSC rate in Pakistan years has reduced by 3% per annum from 25.96 million in 2012-13 to 22.64 million in 2015-16 where Punjab witnessed a decrease of by 6% per annum from 12.87 million to 9.92 M during the same period
Baligh-ur-Rehman, Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training, revealed that Punjab took the lead in net enrollment rate as well. In Pakistan, the net enrollment rate in primary education increased by of 4% per annum from 14.65 million in 2012-13 to 17.10 million in 2015-16; whereas in Punjab we witnessed a contribution of 6% increase per annum which was comparatively greater than other provinces.
Punjab government is taking many progressive steps to promote the education culture. Last year, the provincial government introduced a new initiative to tackle the social issue of child labor. The Integrated Project for Elimination of Child Labour and Promotion of Decent Work worth Rs.5 billion will help out to eliminate child labor.
As part of this project, the children working in auto-workshops, petrol pumps and service stations, hotels and restaurants along with brick kilns will be enrolled in in the Non-Formal Basic Education Centers and skill training centers.
Such initiatives and improvements in the number of children out of school is a step in the right direction but the Punjab government does need to step up its game to provide better quality education to everyone equally.