Rana Tanveer Hussain, Minister of Federal Education and Professional Training, declared on Friday that Pakistan has the world’s largest number of out-of-school children (OOSC).
Based on UNICEF data, approximately 22.8 million children aged 5-16 in Pakistan do not attend school, accounting for 44 percent of the population in this age range.
After elementary school, the number of OOSCs doubles, with 11.4 million adolescents aged 10 to 14 receiving no formal education, whereas gender, financial class, and geography all have substantial disparities as well.
To address the issue, the government has set an ambitious target of returning all 70,000 children in Islamabad to schools by June 30. Tanveer claimed that the administration is working hard to enroll these youngsters.
To achieve this, the government has started a new project dubbed “Schools on Wheels” in Islamabad, which gives education to children in remote regions.
Buses have been turned into mobile schools, complete with contemporary services and facilities such as bathrooms. The World Bank has commended this initiative and committed to providing 30 buses for this worthy cause.
In addition, the ministry intends to extend this project to children in flood-affected districts of Balochistan and Sindh, as directed by Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif. The government is also willing to help other provinces as long as they provide the buses.