Educating Girls: Increasing Retention for Greater Impact – Policy Note

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“Educating Girls: Increasing Retention for Greater Impact – Policy Note” is published by the Planning and Development Division, Government of Pakistan provides an overview of the state of girls’ education in Pakistan and offers recommendations for improvement. It analyzes the issue of low retention rates of girls in the education system in Pakistan, especially during the transition from primary to secondary levels. It presents evidence on the scale of dropout rates for girls in different provinces and examines both demand-side and supply-side factors responsible. Based on literature review and initiatives implemented globally, the note provides recommendations to increase girls’ retention levels.

Problem Statement: Only 30% of girls enrolled in grade 1 complete 10 years of schooling in Pakistan. Nearly 70% of girls drop out between primary (Katchi) and secondary levels, with Balochistan having the highest dropout rate of 86%.

Key Factors for Low Retention:

Demand-side: Discriminatory social norms, financial constraints, early marriages, safety concerns
Supply-side: Lack of nearby middle/high schools for girls, shortage of female teachers, poor quality
Evidence from Interventions: Programs focused on reducing costs (cash transfers, transport), empowering communities, skills development, cash-for-education and PPP models increased girls’ enrollment and retention.


  • Tailor retention policies based on target groups’ needs
  • Expand post-primary schools through afternoon schools
  • Integrate skills & employability in secondary curriculum
  • Engage civil society to change social norms
  • Promote evidence-based best practices through development partners

Read Educating Girls: Increasing Retention for Greater Impact – Policy Note


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