In 2010, UNICEF and the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) launched a Global Initiative on Out-of-School Children in 26 countries including Pakistan. The goal of this initiative is to improve statistical information and analysis of out-of-school children (OOSC) and to scrutinize the factors leading to exclusion from schooling and the policies related to enhancing participation. As part of this global initiative, this report aims to improve statistical information and analysis of OOSC in Pakistan and guide concrete education sector reforms in this regard. It develops profiles of children who remain out of school, investigates the major barriers to education, and identifies the reasons why children in Pakistan drop out of school.
The Five Dimensions of Exclusion (5DE) are used to analyse the problem of OOSC. Dimension 1 represents children of pre-primary school age who are not in pre-primary or primary education; for this study, this covers children aged four years. Dimension 2 captures the out-of-school population of primary-school-age children not in primary or secondary education; this covers children aged 5–9 years. Dimension 3 captures OOSC in the lower-secondary-school age group not in primary or secondary education; this covers children aged 10–12 years. Dimension 4 covers children in primary school who are considered at risk of dropping out, and Dimension 5 covers children in lower secondary school who are at risk of dropping out.
Exploring structural inequalities and linking them to income poverty, exposure to child labour, conflict and natural disasters, location (urban/rural), gender, etc. can provide a useful basis not only for profiling OOSC and developing an understanding of their barriers but also for feeding into future policy after a review of current strategies and programmes.
The main data source used in this report is the Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement Survey (PSLM) for 2007–08 and its associated Household Integrated Economic Survey (HIES). The reason for relying on this data source was the consistent availability of all indicators required for calculations defined in the Conceptual and Methodological Framework used by this study. Other data sources include the Labour Force Survey 2007/08, the Pakistan Education Statistics 2008/09 compiled by the Academy for Education Planning and Management, and the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) Punjab flood-affected communities in Punjab and Sindh to assess the impact of 2010 floods on children's education. Furthermore, a multivariate regression analysis of the determinants of child labour and schooling was conducted.