KARACHI - About 3.8 million children have never been in schools in rural Sindh, while the dropout percentage in urban Sindh is even higher. Moreover, 50 per cent children of Sindh province aged 5 to 15, are out of schools, while 70 per cent girl students in rural Sindh fail to attend the schools. According to a survey conducted by various NGOs over the plight of education sector, there are 22,428 primary schools in Sindh including 4,792 for boys and 7,298 for girls, but only 50 per cent enrolled children could complete their primary education and about 60 per cent girl students hardly go to middle schools. The Education and Literacy Department had planned to appoint women education visitors on the pattern of women health visitors to convince the parents to enrol their children in schools, but the government has failed to materialise this project. In view of the distressing literacy situation particularly in the rural areas of the Sindh, the govt of Sindh had felt the need to consider the promulgation of the Compulsory Primary Education Ordinance. The federal cabinet had approved the draft Compulsory Primary Education Ordinance 2001 in a meeting held on October 2, 2001 and the ordinance was promulgated on December 26, 2001. In the wake of grim literacy rate, the educationists have urged the government to enforce this law, which could ensure 100 per cent increase in primary education in Sindh. The Society for the Protection and Rights of Children (SPARC) has said that the primary education is the foundation of the compulsory education and the key objective of primary education is achieving the fundamental literacy rate by establishing the base in science, history, geography and social sciences. The Compulsory Primary Education Ordinance 2001 was to be implemented simultaneously in at least one town or taluka of each district from April 1, 2002. In the first phase (2001-2002), 21 towns and talukas had to be covered, 40 towns and talukas in the second phase (2002-2003), and 42 towns and talukas in the third phase (2003-2004). Under this law, it was mandatory for the parents and guardians to send their children to school from the age of five years. About two million children were to be enrolled in schools within three years, 400,000 in the first year, 800,000 in the second year and another 800,000 in the third year.