Girls in different parts of Rajanpur have been fighting against all odds to pursue their education and go to school.
There are only 1,735 students in 402 girls’ schools in the district comprising two million people. It has a total of 951 schools.
Last year, the women students outperformed the male students at their matric examinations. The average pass percentage for young women was 87.81, while it was 84.55% for the boys.
Gender bias has proven to be a big hurdle in the way of education for many students.
Shahnaz, who studies in eight grade, wants to appear for her papers but her family has stopped her from going to school. “I want to study and give my examinations but my parents are very poor and they can’t afford my education.” Her parents want to save money for educating her brothers.
Rubina Shaheen, a teacher, said that the parents just want their sons to get educated. They plan to send their boys to schools in other cities but they tend to forget about their daughters, she added.
Another problem is underage marriage. Girls are stopped from going to schools because they are married off at a young age, said Yousaf Gabol, a sardar of a local village.
Access to basic facilities is another barrier. Many schools for girls don’t have electricity, toilets, walls, and clean drinking water. Yet, many girls continue to go to these schools hoping for a better future themselves.
Ghulam Farooq Alvi, an employee of the education department, said that they received Rs46 million funds from the government this year. We want to use the funds to improve structure of some dangerous buildings, and install missing facilities such as air conditioners and fans in some schools.
We will utilise this budget and make sure that public schools have all basic facilities, he added.