Girls’ education goes beyond getting girls into school. It is also about ensuring that girls learn and feel safe while in school; have the opportunity to complete all levels of education acquiring the knowledge and skills to compete in the society and labour market; learn the socio-emotional and life skills necessary to navigate and adapt to a changing world; make decisions about their own lives, and contribute to their communities and the world.
Across the world Girls’ education is a strategic development priority. Better educated women tend to be more informed about nutrition and healthcare, have fewer children, marry at a later age, and their children are usually healthier, should they choose to become mothers. They are more likely to participate in the formal labour market and earn higher incomes. All these factors combined can help lift households, communities, and countries out of poverty.
.According to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Govt the province has achieved huge gains in primary education,. However, large numbers of students still do not complete primary education, and even fewer continue to secondary school. According to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Elementary and Secondary Education, 1.8 million children aged 5-17 are out of school in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Of these, 64% are girls while 36% are boys. Since so few children complete primary school, those who do must be able to continue their schooling. It is the only way for students and society to reap the full benefits of their initial investment in a literate, educated population.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Girls often have higher dropout rates than boys for many reasons: household responsibilities; child labour; higher opportunity cost to the family; long distances to schools from girls’ homes; early marriage and/or pregnancy; the threat of sexual harassment and violence in school and on route to school; lack of girl-friendly facilities (no latrines, no running water), a particularly serious problem during menstruation; gender-discriminatory teaching and learning methods; and parents and communities who are not aware of the value of education for girls. Following are the five main barriers to girls’ secondary education:
The distance between home and secondary school becomes even more of a problem for girls, especially in rural areas, where middle and upper secondary schools are more likely to be distant from small villages. Because schooling is less common for girls, they are more likely to be walking to school alone or in smaller groups than boys who may have a wider peer network.
Boys and girls may suffer from low learning if the quality and relevance of education and teaching are poor, but girls tend to suffer more because of an ingrained gender bias. Whether or not girls are exposed to female teachers who can serve as role models is one of the greatest indicators. Female teachers are less likely to have gender biases against girls and are far less likely to sexually harass or otherwise demean their female students. Parents also may not be comfortable having their child taught by a man in certain traditional rural regions. The lack of female teachers in a school is a missed opportunity to provide meaningful professional female role models to young women and men daily.
According to Qamar Naseem an education rights champion in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa “ Adequate resource provision is crucial to achieve the educational targets that include access,quality, transition, retention and environment, provincial governemrnt must explore the resource adequacy for education along with other factors. Now, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Article 25 that makes the government responsible for free education to children till the age of 16 add more obligations to the government and hence it is required to revise policies with more effective planning of their implementation”