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Women Education In Pakistan

SYED KAMAL HUSSAIN SHAH Women's education in Pakistan is a fundamental right of every female citizen, according to article thirty-seven of the Constitution of Pakistan. Gender discrepancies still exist in the educational sector. According to UNDP report, Pakistan ranked 120 in 146 countries in terms of Gender-related Development Index, and in terms of Gender Empowerment Measurement (GEM) ranking, it ranked 92 in 94 countries.Education is a critical input in human resource development and essential for the country's economic growth. It increases the productivity and efficiency of individuals, and it produces a skilled labor force that is capable of leading the economy towards sustainable growth and prosperity. The progress and wellbeing of a country largely depends on the education choices made available to its people. It can be one of the most powerful instruments of change. It can help a country to achieve its national goals via producing minds imbued with knowledge, skills, and competencies to shape its future destiny. The widespread recognition of this fact has created awareness on the need to focus upon literacy and elementary education, not simply as a matter of social justice but more to foster economic growth, social well-being, and social stability. In year 2006, the literacy rate in urban areas was recorded as 58.3% while in rural areas it was 28.3%, and only 12% among rural women. According to the government of Pakistan, total enrollment level of pre-primary in public sector was 4,391,144. Out of 4,391,144 pre-primary students, 2,440,838 are boys, and 1,950,306 are girls. It shows that 56% of enrolled students are boys, and 44% are girls. Further breakdown of these statistics into urban and rural enrollment levels reveals almost similar percentage of enrollment among boys and girls, i.e. in rural schools 57% are boys and 43% are girls. Private sector; There is a huge sector of private education in Pakistan. According to the government of Pakistan, 2,744,303 pre-primary students are enrolled in private schools. Among them, 1,508,643 are boys, and 1,235,660 are girls. It shows that 55% of enrolled kids are boys and 45% are girls. Of the total number, 39% students are in rural areas, and the percentage of enrolled boys and girls in rural areas are 58% and 42% respectively. The total enrollment in primary public sector is 11,840,719; 57% (6,776,536) are boys, and 43% (5,064,183) are girls. 79% of all the primary students in Pakistan are enrolled in rural schools, and the gender enrollment ratios are 59% and 41% for boys and girls respectively in rural Pakistan. Higher secondary; the overall ratio seems to equalize among boys and girls in higher secondary education. Women's education is so inextricably linked with the other facets of human development that to make it a priority is to also make change on a range of other fronts; from the health and status of women to early childhood care; from nutrition, water and sanitation to community empowerment; from the reduction of child laborand other forms of exploitation to the peaceful resolution of conflicts. The founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, was known to have a positive attitude towards women. After the independence of Pakistan, women groups and feminist organisations started by prominent leaders like Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah began working to eliminate socio-economic injustices against women in the country. In 1988, Benazir Bhutto became the first female Prime Minister of Pakistan, and the first woman elected to head a Muslim country but since its independence, the educational status of Pakistani women is among the lowest in the world. Women in Pakistan have progressed in various fields of life such as politics, education, economy, services, health and many more. In politics and activism, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is planning to increase the percentage of women in the police force. Transgender issue is also there in Pakistan. In most South Asian nations, a concept of third gender prevails where members of the same are referred to those who are neither men norwomen. In 2009, the Pakistan Supreme Court ruled in favour of a group of transvestites. The landmark ruling stated that as citizens they were entitled to the equal benefit and protection of the law and called upon the government to take steps to protect transvestites from discrimination and harassment. Pakistan's chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry was the architect of major extension of rights to Pakistan's transgender community during his term. Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) has announced to provide free education for transgenders across the country.The university, that offers distance learning, will offer education from matriculation to PhD as well as vocational training to transgenders without any charges. The students will be able to choose any subject they wish to study. The students who will enrol in the programme won't be required to come to university and educational equipment will be provided to them at their doorstep. Many other programs like prime minister training program transgender in it. Offering them free education and training, we hope to make them a part of mainstream society.

SYED KAMAL HUSSAIN SHAH Women’s education in Pakistan is a fundamental right of every female citizen, according to article thirty-seven of the Constitution of Pakistan. Gender discrepancies still exist in the educational sector. According to UNDP report, Pakistan ranked 120 in 146 countries in terms of Gender-related Development Index, and in terms of Gender Empowerment Measurement (GEM) ranking, it ranked ... Read More »

UN-backed report calls for investment to educate poor children of the world

By mid-century 80 percent of students in developed countries like Japan and Korea will have access to higher education. But fewer than 5 percent of children in the world's poorest countries will have such opportunities. A new UN-backed report says the education chasm between children in rich and poor countries is already yawning. It warns it will only grow wider unless definitive action is taken to invest in global education. The International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity is proposing the largest expansion of education opportunity in modern history. The aim is to give "all children" in poorer countries access to a solid learning opportunity up to and including secondary education within a generation. Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Chief Executive of Save the Children and a former Prime Minister of Denmark, urged world leaders to act: "A year ago, the world promised children the universal right to a quality education by 2030. As the Commission report shows, we are way off track from achieving that goal based on current trends," Thorning-Schmidt told DW. "And this means we are depriving nearly one billion school-aged children of a basic secondary education. This will have a disastrous impact for children, economies and societies." "While giving every last child a quality education is a massive challenge, the report conclusively shows that it can be achieved within a generation – with political commitment and an increase in financing for education from Heads of State and Finance Ministers," Thorning-Schmidt said. "There are no excuses and world leaders must now step up or risk failing a generation of children." The report highlighted the demand for skills within the world economy as automation in the coming decades will radically alter the work force demand for skills, making education ever more important. The report indicated that 40 percent of global employers today are already having difficulty recruiting employees with the skills they seek. The report projects that by 2050 some 33 percent of children in Africa will not complete a basic secondary education. It claims that by mid-century 80 percent or more children in Japan, Korea and Taiwan will have access to higher education opportunities, while at the other end of the spectrum countries like the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Niger will struggle to have 5 percent of their children prepared for university education. Closing the gap To close the gap the report says low and middle-income countries need to dramatically increase spending on education. It calls for creating new investment mechanisms for education for a Multilateral Development Bank that could mobilize as much as $20 billion (17.9 billion euros) by 2030, from its current $3.5 billion per year. More broadly the report calls for mobilizing financial resources of $3 trillion across developing countries by 2030. The commission was chaired by former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who wrote in the preface: "We will make sure that the promise of a quality primary and secondary education for every child by 2030 will be honored by the combined efforts of the international community."

By mid-century 80 percent of students in developed countries like Japan and Korea will have access to higher education. But fewer than 5 percent of children in the world’s poorest countries will have such opportunities. A new UN-backed report says the education chasm between children in rich and poor countries is already yawning. It warns it will only grow wider ... Read More »

Half of Syria’s school children miss out on education

UNICEF and other aid organizations are trying to help children go back to school. Nobel Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai has called on governments to do more, so that Syria will still have a future left when peace returns. The civil war in Syria has been raging for five years now and there is no end in sight. Among those who suffer from the violence and chaos the most: Syrian children, who are especially vulnerable. According to UNICEF, the United Nations' aid program for children, there are around 2.5 million children registered as refugees outside of Syria. Many of them are living in camps in countries like Lebanon, Jordan or Egypt. They have lost everything and are traumatized by the death and violence they had to witness. International aid organizations are fighting for these children to have a future, and not to become a lost generation. One of the most important tools in this effort: education. Ahead of the UN General Assembly meeting this week, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai has called on the heads of governments across the world to guarantee 12 years of school for every refugee child. "Education is crucial," Yousafzai told news agency Associated Press. "I understand that, you understand that, people understand that, but when it comes to world leaders' decision making, they completely ignore it, as if they have no knowledge and are completely ignorant." Missing teachers, closed-down schools On September 19, the UN will host its first summit on migrants and refugees. Yousafzai, who became the youngest nobel laureate ever in 2014 for advocating all children's right to an education, will not be attending the 71st session of the General Assembly. At 19 years old, she's focusing on her school work and college applications instead. But there are millions of children who don't have the chance to attend university or even go to secondary school. Aid organizations like UNICEF are working to provide as many children as possible with access to education. They deal with refugee children in Syria's neighboring countries, but also with kids who are still inside the war-ridden nation. More than 700,000 Syrian refugee children in neighboring countries aren't going to school even though they should be. Inside the country, the situation is even worse: One quarter of all schools aren't used for educational purposes anymore and 50,000 education professionals no longer work in their jobs - they fled the country, died or joined the fighting. That's why 2.1 million Syrian school children don't have the possibility to attend class. "Half of Syria's school children aren't in school," Juliette Touma, communication chief for UNICEF's Middle East and North Africa office, told DW. "Some of them have never been in school, others have missed up to five years." No Lost Generation In 2016, UNICEF plans to give 854,000 Syrian refugee children in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey access to formal education. To that end, UNICEF is one of organizations supporting the No Lost Generation initiative. Supported by different UN agencies, a variety of international and local NGOs, governments and private donors, the initiative aims to "provide opportunities for children and youth… to heal, learn and develop again." "In the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, the second-biggest refugee camp in the world, we built nine schools from scratch," Touma said. "In other countries we expand learning space by renovating existing schools, adding more classrooms or installing heating." The initiative has also introduced the double-shift methodology in numerous schools, for example in Jordan. In the morning, Jordanian children will attend school and in the afternoon, the classrooms are used to teach Syrian refugee children. "We think outside the box to provide education," Touma said. Girls' tough struggle For refugee girls, the situation is especially precarious. They are even less likely to go to school than boys. "Refugee girls are wondering how long they can stay out of school before they're forced into early marriages or child labor," Yousafzai said in a press statement. The Nobel Prize winner was shot in October 2012 for defying the Taliban in her home country Pakistan by going to school and advocating education for girls. Today, her charity Malala Fund focuses on "helping girls go to school and raise their voices for the right to education." The fund's current social media campaign #YesAllGirls wants to draw attention to the plight of refugee girls. UNICEF's Juliette Touma recounts the story of one girl in a Jordan refugee camp who convinced her parents to not marry her off and let her go to school instead. But Touma also says that the number of young girls getting married is rising, because their parents have lost everything and are so poor that they see no other option. The No Lost Generation Initiative is doing everything to fight this practice and to make sure that girls and boys get a chance to go to school. "For UNICEF, education is as important as water and vaccinations because it nourishes a child's soul," Touma said. "School is really a safe haven - and also an investment in the future. Bear in mind that the war in Syria will eventually come to an end, hopefully sooner rather than later. We will need these children to rebuild the country."

UNICEF and other aid organizations are trying to help children go back to school. Nobel Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai has called on governments to do more, so that Syria will still have a future left when peace returns. The civil war in Syria has been raging for five years now and there is no end in sight. Among those who ... Read More »

HRW: ‘Generation robbed of their rights to education in Nigeria’

A new Human Rights Watch report says the Boko Haram insurgency in northeastern Nigeria has forced a million children out of school. The military is part of the problem, Mausi Segun from Human Rights Watch tells DW. In a new report released on Tuesday, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that that attacks carried out by the Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram have had a devastating effect on education in the country’s northeastern region. The report highlighted the plights of nearly 1 million children, who have not been able to go to school as a result of the violence in the region. Mausi Segun, one of the researchers of HRW has been speaking to DW about their findings. Deutsche Welle: Can you briefly explain how bad the academic situation in northeastern Nigeria is? Mausi Segun: The system has been devastated by the conflict, especially in Borno State and to a smaller extent in Yobe and Adamawa States. In the entire region almost one million school-aged children are out of school and many have been out of school for at least the last two years, some up to three, four years. This means that almost an entire generation of children has been robbed of their right to education, which is an intrinsic component of their development. And so to our mind it is an emergency, a critical issue that the Nigerian authorities must pay immediate attention to in order to stem the tide of poverty and underachievement of children in this region that have lagged behind the rest of Nigeria for many years. In your report, you say that at least 611 teachers have been deliberately killed and a further 19,000 have been forced to flee since 2009. But what about those who have been left behind? How are they coping with the security situation? Many of them are living in displacement camps. Some who work for the government are earning small salaries even though they say it does not come in frequently. But they have many friends, families and neighbors that they have to take care of. A lot of them are deeply traumatized because they have witnessed the killings of their colleagues and family members. A few are doing some good by volunteering their time to teach children in the IDP camps, and some are setting up learning centers for children in host communities. But you can tell the frustration and fear that still exist. They are longing to return home to the life they knew, to the profession they love and enjoy, but unable to do so because of the fear that Boko Haram would kill them upon their returning. Boko Haram fighters as well as Nigerian security forces are turning schools into military bases, what can you tell us about that? While children were still in school, soldiers were placed in these schools ostensibly to protect the children and the schools. Unfortunately the very presence of armed forces at a school can make the school a legitimate military target. And this thing has happened in reverse as well. Because of the presence of Boko Haram fighters in schools, Nigerian security forces have targeted these schools. Many had to flee for their lives. For a station or a base, a school is not the best place because it might turn the school into a military target. What about those children that have been abducted by the extremists? You mention the Chibok girls and another 300 children that were abducted. How concerned are you that they are now being used as suicide bombers? It is a deplorable situation that would concern everyone. We are concerned at the level that we work. I can't imagine what it is like on a daily basis for the parents of the missing children, for their relatives and friends, their community members. I think for the Chibok girls, the activities of the advocates who have worked to continue to put pressure on the government have helped in some way. Our question is: What about the other children? I think the government needs to do a lot more to give names to these people by, for example, opening up a missing persons' register, where parents can put down the names of their children. They do not know whether they are dead or just missing, or whether they have been recruited to become suicide members or whatever. Even the dead have been buried without giving them names. The government must immediately set up a mechanism to ensure that they are given names and their dignity is restored. Mausi Segun is a researcher with Human Rights Watch in Nigeria Interview: Chrispin Mwakideu

A new Human Rights Watch report says the Boko Haram insurgency in northeastern Nigeria has forced a million children out of school. The military is part of the problem, Mausi Segun from Human Rights Watch tells DW. In a new report released on Tuesday, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that that attacks carried out by the Nigerian Islamist group Boko ... Read More »

UN: Middle East conflicts keep 13 million children out of school

About 13.7 million school age children from Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Sudan are not in school because of conflict, a new UNICEF report says. It warns of 'losing a generation' of children. Forty percent of school-aged children from five war-torn Middle Eastern countries are not attending school, the United Nations agency for children (UNICEF) said Thursday. The report warns that a lack of education would lead to more militancy, migration and a dark future for the region as a whole. "We are on the verge of losing a generation of children in this region," Peter Salama, UNICEF's regional chief, told the AP news agency. "We must act now or we will certainly regret the consequences." The dropout rate could increase to 50 percent in coming months as conflicts intensify, he warned. In a report on the impact of conflict on education in six countries and territories across the region, UNICEF says more than 8,850 schools were no longer usable due to violence. It detailed cases of students and teachers coming under direct fire, classrooms used as makeshift bomb shelters and children having to risk crossing firing lines to take exams. "It's not just the physical damage being done to schools," Salama said, "but the despair felt by a generation of schoolchildren who see their hopes and futures shattered." In its report, UNICEF calls for better informal education services in countries affected by school closures and for donor nations to prioritize education funding throughout the Middle East. Syria The Syrian conflict - now in its fifth year - has been devastating for children. One in four schools have been closed since the conflict erupted, causing more than 2 million children to drop out and putting close to half a million in danger of losing their schooling as 52,000 teachers have left their posts. "Even those Syrian teachers who have ended up as refugees in other countries have faced obstacles which prevent them from working," the report said. Yemen One of the worst direct attacks on a school in the region came in Yemen, where 13 staff and four children were killed in an assault on a teachers' office in the western city of Amran. "The killing, abduction and arbitrary arrest of students, teachers and education personnel have become commonplace" in the region, the report said. Hundreds of schools and colleges have been closed since March, when a a Saudi-led coalition launched air strikes on Iran-backed Houthi rebels who had seized the capital Sanaa and several parts of the country. A least seven schools in Yemen have been requisitioned by warring forces to be used as makeshift barracks or shelters for displaced families, the report said. Palestinian Territories In the embattled Gaza Strip, which saw a 50-day war last year between Hamas militants and Israel's military kill about 2,200 Palestinians and 73 on the Israeli side, the UN said at least 281 schools had been damaged, and eight "completely destroyed." "My children were injured in a school. They saw people injured with missing hands or legs, with wounded faces and eyes," the report quoted Gaza mother-of-two Niveen as saying. "They no longer see school as a safe place." Iraq Violence in Iraq, where pro-government forces are battling the self-styled Islamic State militant group has had a severe impact on the schooling of at least 950,000 children. The report detailed scenes among the 1,200 schools in Iraqi host communities that have been turned into shelters for those displaced by violence, with up to nine families per classroom forced to prepare meals in courtyards. Libya, Sudan Conflict has also affected child learning in Libya - still reeling from the 2011 ouster of dictator Moammer Gadhafi - with more than half of those displaced reporting that their children have not enrolled in school. In the second city of Benghazi alone, the UN said just 65 of 239 schools are still open. In Sudan, the agency said high numbers of internally displaced families fleeing violence in Darfur and South Kordofan states were putting incredible strain on the country's marginal education infrastructure.

About 13.7 million school age children from Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Sudan are not in school because of conflict, a new UNICEF report says. It warns of ‘losing a generation’ of children. Forty percent of school-aged children from five war-torn Middle Eastern countries are not attending school, the United Nations agency for children (UNICEF) said Thursday. The report warns ... Read More »

Schools reopen in Nepal after earthquake

Thousands of schools across the districts worst hit by the devastating earthquake in Nepal have reopened. The government has directed teachers to concentrate on group activities to help children recover from the trauma. The Education Ministry in Nepal said schools should resume classes on Sunday only if their buildings were declared safe, following inspections by experts. The government also invited parents to inspect school buildings before sending their children to classes. Classes are to be held in temporary classrooms if the school buildings are still considered unsafe, according to the Education Ministry. The earthquakes on April 25 and May 12 killed more than 8,500 people, more than 22,000 were injured. According to Nepalese authorities, more than 7,800 schools were damaged by the earthquakes, affecting the studies of over 800,000 children. It is estimated that 90 percent of schools were destroyed in the worst-hit districts of Gorkha, Sindhupalchok and Nuwakot. Niraj Kayanstha, a teacher at Changuranayan school, east of the capital Kathmandu, told Radio Nepal that about half of her students came to school on Sunday. The government directed schools to concentrate on entertaining classes and group activities during the first days before resuming regular teaching, in order to help children recover from the trauma they suffered. According to UNICEF, Nepal's high dropout rate was already a major concern before the devastating earthquake. Around 1.2 million Nepalese children between the age of 5 and 16 have either never attended school or have dropped out.

Thousands of schools across the districts worst hit by the devastating earthquake in Nepal have reopened. The government has directed teachers to concentrate on group activities to help children recover from the trauma. The Education Ministry in Nepal said schools should resume classes on Sunday only if their buildings were declared safe, following inspections by experts. The government also invited ... Read More »

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