EDUCATION AT ALL COSTS: Students travel on a donkey cart at the close of the school day in Lahore. A staggering 24 million Pakistani children are not in school and more than half of eight-year-olds cannot read despite the budget growing twofold to $7.5 billion in the last six years.
Pakistan has not conducted a national census for 17 years, but around two-thirds of the roughly 200 million population are believed to be under 30. The report, released Thursday and compiled using population projections and demographic analysis, put the number of school-age children at 50.8 million. Of the 24 million who are not in school, more are girls — 12.8 million compared to 11.2 million boys, said the report, which also revealed that 69 percent of children enrolled at primary school level drop out by the fifth year.
It also highlighted the lack of resources for education in Pakistan. Around 29 percent of government primary schools operate with just a single teacher, it said, 18 percent have only one classroom, and nine percent do not even have a building. But the report did have a silver lining: the number of children out of school is around one million less than the previous year.