LAHORE - Enrollment of children in schools has increased considerably in 2018 as compared to 2016 in the country, reveals ASER report launched at a local hotel on Monday.

Secretary Schools Education Muhmmad Mahmood, representatives from PEF, PEC, universities and civil society organizations attended the launching ceremony.

In 2018, 89 per cent children aged 6-16 were enrolled in schools as compared to 86 per cent in 2016.

Punjab has recorded overall a 3% increase in enrolment. Nationally, the gender gap persists in out-of-school children with more girls than boys not being enrolled or dropped out of school. However in Punjab, the percentage of girls who are out of school is the same as percentage of boys.  In ASER 2018, amongst the 11% out-of- school children, 5.5% are girls and 5.5% are boys. This gap has narrowed as compared to ASER 2016 (6% males and 7% females).

Early Childhood Education has also been historically tracked by ASER. From 2014 when ECE enrolment was recorded at 55%, it declined to 52% in 2015 and 51% in 2016 rising to 52% in 2018 again in rural Punjab. Overall, government schools have witnessed a surge of 8% (62%) in enrolment for ECE, whereas private sector holds 38% of total enrolment.

The ASER Survey 2018 highlights that children enrolled in private schools are performing better compared to those studying in government schools.

The survey highlights that in Punjab, girls are at par with boys in literacy and numeracy skills.  As many as 57% of girls were found able to read at least sentences in Urdu as compared to 57% boys.

In addition to the assessment of children, the report also highlights school functioning across every district in Punjab. The ASER rural Punjab survey informs that over all teachers’ attendance in government schools stood at 87% as compared to 89% in private schools.

Whilst private school teachers were reported to have better qualifications at graduate levels; 40% teachers in private schools are graduates compared to 31% in government schools; however, for MA/MSC or post graduate qualifications, larger percentage of public sector teachers have a higher qualification than private sector counterparts.