LAHORE - Despite the tall claims of the federal and provincial governments on increasing enrolment of children in schools, 15 per cent of Punjab’s children aged 6-16 still remain out of school, according to the Annual Status of Education Report –ASER 2015 Pakistan survey.

The remaining 85 per cent that are enrolled in the 6-16 age bracket are not learning much either.

These findings were made public at the launch of sixth ASER survey in Lahore conducted volunteers from different NGOs. They included: Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA), National Commission for Human Development (NCHD), Democratic Commission for Human Development (DCHD), NRSP and RCDO.

2,200 volunteer citizens, who personally visited 21,512 households in 1,079 villages, have based their findings on collecting information about 59,179 children of age 3-16 years including 44 per cent girls. For the year 2015, the ASER rural survey has been conducted in 36 rural districts and 7 urban administrative areas in the Punjab, wherein 5-16 year age cohort 50,686 children were tested for English and Urdu languages besides arithmetic competencies.

The report aims to inform the progress or lack thereof with respect to Article 25 A of the constitution making education a fundamental right for 5-16 year old children since 2010. It said, proportion of out-of-school children has remained the same as compared to 2014. In 2015, 15 per cent of children were reported to be out-of-school. 8pc children have never been enrolled in school while 7pc have dropped out. ASER 2015 results illustrate a considerable number of children going to public schools this year as compared to non-state schools. 65 per cent children of age 6-16 were enrolled in public schools in 2015 while in 2014 the percentage was 63 per cent.

The findings further show that competencies of students in learning English, Arithmetic and language have not improved much. 30 per cent (37 per cent in 2014) of the children from Class V cannot read Class II level text in Urdu. In English, only 60 per cent (57 per cent in 2014) of the surveyed Class V students could not read sentences, which should ideally be read by students from the second grade. A similar trend has been observed in Arithmetic capabilities of children where only 59 per cent (51 per cent in 2014) of class V children could do a two-digit division, something that is expected in second grade curriculum.