In addition to the worsening health crisis, experts have again warned of a lost generation of Pakistani children he can’t get to the classroom after he was already late schooling during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Of the 33 million people displaced in Pakistan, at least half of them are children and we are facing a complete loss of learning among the current generation,” said Khuram Gondal, country director of Save the Children Pakistan.
“If we don’t do something quickly, we will see millions of children, many already traumatized by the floods, not return to school.”
“Zeros for the global learning crisis”
Pakistan already had one of the worst education systems in the world. In 2017, the World Economic Forum ranked Pakistan 125th out of 130 countries in terms of quality of educational infrastructure and skill development.
Inadequate spending on education – just 2.8 percent of GDP in 2021 – has resulted in a lack of funds to build schools, train new teachers or buy equipment. In rural areas such as East Punjab, it is common for one school to cater for students from several villages. Some will walk for hours to get to their classrooms.
But the floodwaters are not only destroyed more than 18,500 buildingsthey also washed away the paths by which children came to school.
“This year, the year barely started and then we had floods. Even in schools that were not completely destroyed, we have to replace desks, blackboards and school furniture,” said Mubina Agboatwalla, president of Health-Oriented Preventive Education, a Pakistani non-governmental organization that works to improve the lives of the country’s poor.
“To be very frank, I don’t think the schools in the flood-affected areas will be out of business for at least six months.”