Causes of Dropout in Pakistan


One of the most crucial question that must be answered is ‘How do we improve the retention rate in our schools?’. To answer that we must understand the different factors and circumstances that impact the longevity of a child’s schooling, if any at all.

According to a research* on the causes of dropout rate at primary level in Pakistan, following factors were highlighted:

  1. Poverty
  2. The unavailability of schools in proximity or schools at long distance with addition to lack of proper transport and means of communication
  3. Early marriages of girls
  4. Harsh treatment by teachers
  5. Health issues and general malnutrition in children living especially in poverty
  6. Poor infrastructure and facilities at schools
  7. Migration of parents
  8. The unwillingness/ lack of motivation of parents to send their children to school/ illiteracy of parents

From the above-mentioned factors, poverty has been declared as causing the highest contribution to dropout rate because children would usually leave school to earn a livelihood for their families in turn also increasing the rate of child labor. The interconnection of various factors with each other is a reflection of the in-depth impact that acquiring education has.

It was also observed that these issues are most found prevalent amongst the rural communities. We must recognize that a society either flourishes or depreciates based on how well its education system is, hence why the saying that goes as ‘the easiest way to defeat a nation is by ruining its education system.’ So, it may seem hard to approach these socio-economic problems that are a huge hurdle in the way of increasing our literacy, but we must show collective efforts to combat each of them.

Understanding these causes of high dropout rate should allow us to build a better and healthier education system and a culture that promotes children’s education especially by persuading parents and creating ease for those who seek to send their children to schools.


Author: Javeria Khalid

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