Pakistan has 23 million children aged between 5 to 16 who are out of school. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, alone there are more than two million of children out of school – two-thirds of them girls.
In 2018 ,with the help of UNICEF, and funding from the Government of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Pakistan started developing Alternate Learning Pathways (ALP) program in three provinces - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Sindh – with the aim to help children resume their studies who had never been able to been enrolled in school, or had dropped out of school after primary education, and who due to their increasing age faced adversity in assimilating back in the main stream education system.
ALP centers are located in the heart of villages and offer more flexible hours than a formal school. Students go through an accelerated curriculum, enabling them to still have time to help their families at home or in the fields, or care for younger siblings: which can be a decisive factor in convincing the parents to send their children to schools.
The 380 centers in ten districts of KP, have seen the enrollment of 11,000 children, 7000 of them being girls.
One such girl is Malaika, belonging to Hangu, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, who was unable to pursue her education after primary level, as an inflammation in one her knee had left her with a limp and she was forced to discontinue her education as there was no school available inside or near her village
Fortunately, Malaika is now enrolled in one of the , ALP centers in Hangu district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. She is is back to school after a gap of 5 years, and now resuming her educational journey.
Could ALP be a way to reduce the ominous figure of World's second highest number of children out school , 23 million ,in Pakistan?
Watch this video, and please go through this article for more perspective.