The retention of girls in school in Pakistan

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


While many problems have besieged the education of girls over the years, one problem has plagued the various governments of Pakistan: getting girls to finish secondary school. Although in Pakistan all governments stipulate policies and envisage plans to provide schooling to all young people, the problem of dropping out appears to be increasing among girls. The focus of this study was to explore some ways in which the retention rate of girls in school may be maximized. However, in order to provide any measures through which this might be done, it was necessary to find out some of the reasons why girls drop out of school. Therefore, in the first instance, the study sought to investigate the factors which made it difficult or impossible for girls to complete secondary school. Different communities in Karachi were selected for this study. Because much of the previous research on female education has been focused on the rural areas of Pakistan, this study was carried out in Karachi, one of the largest cities of Pakistan. The factors which the research identified in connection with girls leaving school before completion included the following: 1. Socio-economic reasons 2. Early marriage 3. An irrelevant curriculum 4. The negative attitude of teachers The study also revealed that women have limited accessibility to education due to certain subtle, obvious or else concealed discrimination against them. In the light of the findings of this study various measures have been recommended for implementation in order to improve the retention rate of girls in school.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library