37% children are out of school in Pakistan: UNESCO report

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KARACHI: The number of school-age children between in Pakistan is 50,158,104 out of which 37% are out of school, said a UNESCO report on education today.

It said: “We examined household surveys in Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and Pakistan, and calculate that an average of 4% of school-age children in these countries live in families which receive remittances. There are 220 million children out of school in lower and lower-middle income countries.”

UNESCO said applied to all low-income/low middle-income countries, this proportion is equivalent to 9 million children. We use the household surveys to quantify the relationship between receiving remittances and being out of school at the level of individual children and find that children are 40% less likely to be out of school if they are in households which receive remittances.

The report said: “Where possible, we controlled for parents’ education levels and household income, which we also found to be an important factor, but the inclusion of which did not in general affect the coefficient on remittances very much. From this we can estimate that 3.5 million children (40% of 9 million) in lower and lower-middle income countries are kept in school because of remittances.”

The World Bank estimates that the total value of international remittances was $689Bn 2018. Using the World Bank’s Remittance Prices Worldwide data, we calculate that the average cost of digital remittances is 5.6%, compared to 7.7% for offline remittances. So digital remittances are 2.1 percentage points or 27.3% cheaper than offline remittances. If all remittances were digital, this would save $14bn (2.1% of $689bn). We calculate that households in our sample spend an average of 5.7% of household resources on education. If this fraction of the remittance savings were spent on education, this would amount to $825 million based on the typical household spend in the 4 countries surveyed (5.7% of 2.1% of $689bn).

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