Islamabad, Dec 01: Pakistan is among the few countries where illiteracy is on the rise and it ranked second in the world with 6.5 million out of school children, a Unesco report said.
India follows Pakistan at the third spot with 4.5 million such children, Dawn reported quoting Unesco’s education for all global monitoring report 2007.
Nigeria with some eight million out-of-school children stands first.
Pakistan spends a little over two per cent of its GDP on education, it said.
The net enrolment ratio (NER) in Pakistan is less than 80 per cent as compared to other developing countries where enrolment ratios jumped to over 85 per cent by 2004.
The report said the NERs increased significantly in south and West Asia from 77 per cent to 86 per cent, with the exception of Pakistan and Nepal.
Of the 6.5 million out-of-school children in Pakistan, 80 per cent were never enrolled, 10 per cent dropped out and the remaining could get to school at some later stage. the report said the grave situation can be a direct fallout of poverty as some 65.6 per cent of the population lives on less than two dollars a day.
According to the report, a study of primary school attainment in rural areas of Pakistan’s Punjab and NWFP concluded that economic constraints on households are a key factor behind the out-of-school phenomenon.