Policy Dialogue on
Gender Disparity in Enrollment and
Monday, April 23, 2012
ASER PAKISTAN 2010-2015
• ASER - The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) is a citizen
led large scale national household survey about the quality of
education in rural and some urban areas of Pakistan.
• Inspired by the ASER India & East Africa UWEZO methodology
it seeks to fill a gap on learning outcomes by providing a
reliable set of data at the national level on an annual basis, that
is comprehensive and easy to understand. The survey’s
objectives are three fold:
To get reliable estimates of the status of children’s schooling and basic
learning (reading and arithmetic level)
To measure the change in these basic learning and school statistics from
To interpret these results and use them to affect policy decisions at
Scale & Scope of Survey
Coverage : In all five provinces i.e. Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab, Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit Baltistan, and FATA & AJK.- Rural
Phase I : Year I 2010 – 32 districts across Pakistan
Phase II: Year II 2011 – 85 districts across Pakistan (84 Rural + 3 Urban /2
overlap with rural districts)
Phase III : Years III, IV , V all districts across Pakistan
Sample: 600 households per district. Two-stage stratified sample;
30 villages per districts (PPS sampling from 1998 Census Data)
20 households per village (quadrants) 5 from each
Nuances between public and private schools. In each village profile 1
govt. and 1 private school-
Gender disaggregated data
• 4 districts in 2010
• 14 districts in 2011
•Peshawar Urban was also surveyed
for the first time
•Children (Age 3-16)-24,039 children
(60% male, 40% female)
• At the 2000 World Education Forum held in Dakar
(Senegal), the International Community reaffirmed
its commitment to achieving Education for All (EFA).
Participating countries including Pakistan adopted
the Dakar Framework for Action and identified six
specific goals to be Achieved, one of which was to
Achieve Gender Parity by 2005 and Gender Equality
• Pakistan is a signatory to the Dakar Framework for
Current Scenario in Education
• Although considerable gains have been made with
regards to improving the gender equality in improving
Access, however, still the goal of Gender Parity remains
• Net Enrolment Rate (NER) for girls has increased from
45.8 % in 2001 to about 54% in 2009 according to the
Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement
Survey (PSLM2011). The NER for boys has increased
from 61% in 2001 to 67.5% in 2009.
• The gender gap as indicated in the NER though
decreasing is still persistent
18th Amendment & Right to Education
• Article 25A under the 18th Amendment to the Constitution in
“The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all
children of the age of five to sixteen years in such manner as
may be determined by law”
• After the 18th Amendment, education has been devolved
completely to the Provinces.
• Each provincial Government is now duty-bound to provide all
the children; ALL girls and boys aged 5-16 free and
Gender Gaps in Education-Khyber
• Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in this regards poses a very
• KP currently has large gender gaps as compared to
other provinces in :
o Enrollment for pre school and primary/secondary
o Learning Levels
o Out of School Children
• Recently, female education in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
has received extra-ordinary attention, due to the sad
persistent trend of blowing up of Female schools,
across several Khyber Pakhtunkhwa districts and FATA.
EVIDENCE FROM PSLM & MICS
• According to the PSLM data:
Net Enrollment Rates in KP 2011
Primary Middle Matriculation
Male Female Male Female Male Female
56 43 19 14 69 32
• According to Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey
(MICS) 2008, Net Enrolment Rate (NER) at
Primary Level for Children Aged 5-9 stood at 56%
for Males as compared to 41% for Females.
Pre school and tuition
• Pre School Evidence 3-5 Years
• Amongst the children who attend pre schools
64% are boys
36% are girls
• Private Supplementary Tuition
• Amongst the children who attend tuition:
65% are boys
34% are girls
Gender Gap: Evidence from ASER 2011
•Girls are far less likely than Boys to be enrolled in private schools.
• Significant gender gaps exist in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, i.e. the difference in percentage
boys and girls enrolled in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
•It is the highest in Private School in all the provinces, except for Balochistan and FATA.
•The Gender Gap is slightly smaller in government schools. However, it is still greater
than all the provinces except Balochistan, FATA and Gilgit-Baltistan.
• This may point to the fact that parents are less likely to spend their money on girls for
education in private schools, and more likely to send them, if at all, in Government
Note: Gender gap is the difference in % males enrolled say in government schools minus % girls enrolled in government schools in a given province/region etc.
Gender Gap: Peshawar (Urban)
• Similarly, in the Urban Context, among the three urban areas covered
(Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar), Peshawar has the largest Gender Gap in both
Government as well as Private Schools.
Gender Gap: Out-of-School Children
At All Age-Groups more Girls than Boys continue to be Out-of-School in Khyber
The largest Gender Gap exists in Age-Group 6-10.
The Gender Gap is reduced but continues to exist till the Age Group (14-16).
Evidence from PSLM
• PSLM Data also corroborates the Gender Gap
in Out-of-School Children.
• PSLM 2010-11 found that for Rural Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa, 69% of Males had ever
attended school compared to 31% Females.
The Importance of Gauging Quality of
Education: Learning Levels
• The number of years spent in school is only
one measure of educational outcomes.
• There is a citizen led movement that
emphasizes the importance of the ‘quality’ of
schooling or actual learning rather than
merely years of schooling attained.
Gender Gaps in Learning Levels-
• Girls underperform dramatically in reading when
compared to boys in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa –Girls’
performance is consistently poor compared to boys in
• The gap in performance is as high as 10 percentage points
in English, while similarly it is about 11 Percentage Points in
Urdu Learning Levels.
• This means that Girls constantly under-perform in Reading
as compared to Boys, in both in English, as well as Urdu.
• Girls in Urban Peshawar are especially disadvantaged in
terms of reading levels: The Gender Gap in Peshawar is
considerably high when compared to Lahore & Karachi
Gender Gaps in Learning Levels-
• Girls also under-perform in Mathematics
achievement compared to Boys – What is
striking is the fact that the gender gaps in
mathematics are almost identical compared to
reading levels (10 percentage points) .
• The Gender Gaps are higher in Peshawar
Urban (15 Percentage Points) which is greater
than Lahore Urban (0 Percentage Points) and
Karachi (-3 Percentage Point).
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa continues to pose larger Gender Gaps than
Punjab, Sindh, AJK, and is at parity with Gilgit-Baltistan. In the inter-
provincial context, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa clearly lags behind
Gender gaps in Learning Achievement – Urdu
Gender Gap in Reading Levels (% of Males who can at least read a sentence - % of females who can at least read a sentence), ages 6-16
Gender gaps in Learning Achievement - Arithmetic
Gender Gap in Mathematics Levels (% of Males who can at least subtract - % of females who can at least subtract), ages 6-16
An Inter-District Comparison of Gender Gaps in Out-of-School Children with Literacy
Ranking According to PSLM.
District Gender Gap for Out-of-School Literacy Rank (According to
Haripur 0.2 1
Abbotabad -0.2 2
Mansehra 2.4 4
Peshawar (Rural) 2.1 6
Swat 0.4 7
Karak 3.7 10
Swabi 1.6 11
Bannu 1 12
Mardan 4.7 14
Batagram 4.3 15
Charsadda 3.4 16
Upper Dir 6 19
Tank 1.7 20
Dera Ismail Khan 1 22
Gender Gap in Out-of-School Children (% of Females who are out-of-
school - % of Males who are Out-of-School)
Inter-District Comparison of Gender Gaps for Out-of-
School Children in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa show great
• The Gender Gap for Out-of-School Children is
highest in Upper Dir, the District which has the
Third Lowest Literacy in Khyber Pakhutnkhwa
according to the Literacy Ranking of PSLM.
• Similarly, Haripur and Abbotabad with the
Highest Literacy (1 and 2 Literacy Ranks
respectively) also boasts the Lowest Gender Gap
for Out-of -School Children.
• This goes on to show that District-wise there
continue to exist disparities in terms of Females
access to Education.
Does Increase in Literacy Rate Always
Translate to Reduced Gender Gap?
• In certain cases, overall high Literacy does not
translate automatically to a reduced Gender Gap
in the District.
• For instance, D.I.Khan the District with one of the
lowest Gender Gaps for Out-of-School Children (1
Percentage Point) has Lowest Literacy (22)Rank.
• Similarly, Mardan a District with a very High
Gender Gap for Out-of-School Children (4.3
Percentage Points), has a higher Literacy than
Districts with comparatively lower Gender Gaps
like Charsadda, Tank and Batagram.
• Immediate Steps are needed to improve Female
• Improve Cultural Sensitization of the Community to
• Improve School Facilities ensuring safety
• Take Measures to improve Inter-District Gender Gaps.
• Increase in Literacy Rate does not necessarily lead to
decrease in Gender gaps.
• Implement policies/programs backed by resources to
improve girls’ (and Boys’) Learning Outcomes
And Most Importantly ….
• Legislation on Right to Education- The
Provincial Assembly needs to take necessary
steps to legislate on the Right to Education,
Article 25 A with consultation ensuring that g
Gender-specific clauses are present
sufficiently; the Government /state is bound
to address the Gender Gaps for access,
quality and equity in the minimum time
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