ISLAMABAD - Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training launched Phase-III of its campaign to enroll remaining 4,000 out-of-school-children in the Islamabad Capital Territory into the public-sector schools.

A pilot project was launched in Islamabad in November 2018 for policy test under which 10,981 out-of-school children were identifies in Islamabad Capital Territory, said an official of the education ministry on Monday. He said that out of around 11,000 out-of-school kids in ICT, the ministry while engaging the concerned departments had enrolled 7,188 children so far in the government schools.

In 2018, the official said, Pakistan was second worst country on out-of-school-children indicator, with 22.8 million children of age 5-16 not having access to school.

After given the success rate in Islamabad, this programme will soon be implemented nation-wide, he said.

When contacted, President Private Schools Network Dr Afzal Babar pointed out the number of out of school children was around 150,000 in ICT. He claimed that the data collected by some organisations regarding out of school children in the past was not up to the mark.

Parliamentary Secretary for Federal Education and Professional Training Wajiha Akram commenting on the issue stated that we had lack of modern system to know the real number of out of school children as without knowing it the concrete measures could not be taken to overcome the issue.

She underlined the need of an effective data collection system at governmental level so as to account for the accurate number of out-of-schools children in the capital as well across the country.

She added that National Commission for Human Development and Basic Education Community Schools had not performed well due to which these institutions were being merged to boost their performance in future, she said. By pushing these institutions, she said, the task to decrease the number of the out of school children would be achieved.