Girls Dropping Out Of School In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Despite Enjoying Better School Facilities Than Boys


High rate of out of school girls in the province is often attributed to lack or absence of basic facilities. An analysis of statistics released by the provincial education department however, disproves the notion. According to the Annual Statistics Census 2014-15, released by the provincial primary education department, despite better state of basic facilities of girls’ schools, the number of girls not attending school remains over twice as high as boys not attending school.

The analysis further reveals that only one-fifth of girls’ primary schools are without at least one type of a basic facility compared to one-third for boys.

There are five times as many boys’ schools as girls’ schools without boundary walls girls in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. With girls’ schools much more likely to have walls securing the school, this seems to not contribute significantly to drop-outs. Electricity and water supply are missing in equal proportion in girls and boys schools in the province. Lack of sanitary facilities for girls is another commonly cited reason for girls to drop out of school. As many as one fifth of schools for boys are without a toilet facility as compared to one-twelfth for girls.

It is interesting to note that of all the girls in schools, one third are enrolled in Boys primary schools, hence further providing a basis for the policy makers to shift the attention to other possible facet of girls drop outs and low literacy in the province. The UNESCO Report, All Children in School by 2015, enlists a variety of supply and demand side barriers and bottlenecks in education system responsible for high drop outs among girls in the province including costs of schooling, quality education, early child marriages, sexual harassment, child labor, gender roles.


About Author

Amna Durani is research coordinator at the ‎Provincial Commission on the Status of Women Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Her research focuses on understanding why women are marginalized from decision making on a grassroots level and making policy recommendations to increase inclusion.

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