PESHAWAR: The overall enrolment of girls in government primary schools of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has registered decrease in the academic year 2012-13, according to official data.
Total enrolment in government primary schools for girls was 998,386 in 2011-12 which dropped to 997,534 in 2012-13, reveals the official data of elementary and secondary education department, available with Dawn.
The enrolment of boys has also decreased at primary level in seven districts of the province, while overall enrolment of boys slightly jumped up from 1,840,335 to 1,845,242, according to the data.
Enrolment of girl students in government primary schools has decreased in nine districts while it increased in 16 districts. Battagram district is on top of the list registering 33 per cent drop in enrolment where the number of enrolled girl students decreased from 25,556 to 17,088.
In Torghar district, the number of enrolled girl students dropped from 1,972 to 1,435.
The decrease in girls’ enrolment is also high in Upper Dir where 14 per cent drop has been recorded. Other districts where enrolment of girl students has dropped in 2012-13 are Chitral, Kohistan, Mansehra, Swat, Buner and Hangu.
Of the 16 districts where the girls’ enrolment has registered increase Tank is on top with 20 per cent increase, followed by Bannu with seven per cent, Charsadda six per cent, Lakki Marwat five per cent, Dera Ismail Khan, Malakand and Nowshera four per cent each, Peshawar, Abbottabad and Karak three per cent each, Kohat two per cent, and Lower Dir, Mardan, Swabi, Haripur and Shangla one per cent each.
Similarly, the enrolment of boys has dropped in seven districts with Kohistan on top where 15 per cent decrease has been recorded followed by Upper Dir with six per cent, Abbottabad three per cent, Haripur and Lakki each two per cent, Charsadda and Swabi one per cent each.
The enrolment of boys has increased in 18 districts. Maximum increase of seven per cent was recorded in Dera Ismail Khan and Tank, while increase in Torghar is five per cent, Shangla four per cent, Battagram three per cent, Mansehra and Buner two per cent, and Chitral, Swat, Peshawar one per cent each.
According to data, no increase was recorded in enrolment of boys at primary level in Karak, Kohat, Mardan and Nowshera during 2012-13.
When contacted, additional secretary elementary and secondary education department Qaiser Alam said that Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf-led provincial government had taken initiatives for encouraging girls’ education.
He said that all school going children in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would be enrolled by 2018, a target set by the provincial government.
Besides provision of free textbooks, he said, the education department would soon start paying Rs200 monthly stipend to the primary students in the seven districts having low enrolment.
He said that the department had been spending 70 per cent of the funds allocated to the education department on construction of girls’ schools. The official said that the provincial government had launched a brisk campaign in the province to convince parents on sending their children to schools.