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Pakistan Faces Education Crisis After Devastating Floods


Islamabad, – Flood-ravaged Pakistan is bracing for a new crisis as millions of children are missing school, and a vast majority face the risk of never going back to school.“We are seeing a health crisis, a protection crisis, and now an education crisis unfolding in Pakistan,” Khuram Gondal, Save the Children Country Director in Pakistan, said on Tuesday.Weeks after the historic floods affected more than 33 million people and killed 1,719, survivors are battling a rising tide of disease while children miss school.According to Save the Children, 23,900 schools have been damaged or destroyed, and more than 5,000 schools are being used as relief camps.Nearly half of the schools are in the southern province of Sindh.In that province, around 12,000 schools were damaged in floods and the education of around two million children has been disrupted, Rasool Bux Chandio, an adviser to the Chief Minister of Sindh on Rehabilitation and Relief said.As the floodwater, which submerged one-third of the country, recedes slowly, people are enlisting family members, including children so as not to miss the cultivation cycle.“Children are at risk of child labour which hinders them from going to school.“Girls are even at greater risk of dropping out because the devastating effects of floods increased child marriages,” Gondal said.He said that Save the Children had set up 90 temporary learning centres in cooperation with the government, that are also assisting with psychological support.According to UNICEF, Pakistan has the world’s second-highest number of out-of-school children.It is estimated that 22.8 million children aged five to 16 are not attending school, representing 44 per cent of the total population in this age group.(dpa/NAN)

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