Covid-19 and dropout of vulnerable schoolgoing children

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy in Education

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr Sajid Ali


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


COVID-19 pandemic affected the education sector negatively. It led to learning losses and higher inequalities. The current exploratory qualitative study aims to explore how the factors related to school, infrastructure, and household affect the vulnerable school-going children during COVID-19 and what strategies were employed to mitigate these factors using a critical theory lens. The data was collected through semi-structured interviews and focused group discussions from the stakeholders of two schools including six students, six parents, six teachers, and two school heads. The findings of the study revealed that school closures, gaps in delivering the home assignments, learning losses, assessment and completion of home assignments, policies affected teaching and learning after schools reopen, promotions to the next classes, connectivity issues, unavailability of electronic gadgets, untrained staff, large families, weak household economies, house chores, child labour, illiterate parents, household environment, unaffordability of home tuitions, household sickness, relocation and school expenses are the major factors affected children from vulnerable families. To reduce the effects stakeholders of the school community put their efforts together. The home-based assignments were delivered to children at their doorstep. The teachers made efforts to lessen the learning losses in regular classes by using traditional teaching methods such as drills and practice. Social systems were created to help low-income families economically through family help and the Ehsas program. To further eliminate dropout risk a five-step model and an early warning system is suggested. The study suggests developing coordination between stakeholders to restrict dropouts in vulnerable school-going children. Furthermore, professional development programs are recommended on an urgent basis for teachers to help overcome the learning losses of children during COVID.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library