ILMPOSSIBLE: Take A Child to School (TACs) Programme

Donor: British Council, Pakistan.


DOST is a member  of British Council partnership with Children’s Global Network (CGN), School of Leadership Free and Fair Election Network (FAFEN) and 30 local partners proposed to implement “ILMPOSSIBLE: Take a Child to School” in 60 districts of four provinces of Pakistan. The aim of the proposed project is to enroll 130,000 out of the school boys and girls in primary schools in Pakistan and ensure that 80 percent of the newly enrolled stay in school during the course of the project. DDR activities will be extended to the schools in the project through the project.

British Council, Pakistan with support of DOST and other partners aimed to raise national level awareness program on Article 25 (A) of the Constitution of Pakistan, addressing the State responsibility to provide free education to all children aged 5 to 16 years.  The project focuses on the issue of implementation of the article in letter and spirit by involving families of the out of school and school going children and communities to support the program.

Public education in Pakistan suffers from neglect, persistent low standards of education, and crumbling infrastructure. The overall state of public school education is grim: Of the country’s approximately 127,000 public primary schools, 11percent are without a building, 41percent are without a boundary wall, 66percent have no electricity, 38percent are without running water, and 40percent have no toilet facilities. Pakistan’s adult literacy rate of 56 percent is the lowest in South Asia with 68.9 percent for men and 40 percent for women (UNESCO 2011). These conditions are more pronounced in rural and relatively underdeveloped parts of Pakistan. For example regional literacy rates show stark variation between Balochistan, 36percent and Punjab, 54percent. These conditions together with persistent low investment in public education (less than 2percent of gross domestic product) result in extremely poor outcomes: 50percent of school children, age 6-16, cannot read a sentence in any language

It is clear that achieving Millennium Development Goals—achieving universal primary education, and eliminating gender disparity in primary and secondary education by 2015—is out of reach for Pakistan. Pakistan has the lowest net enrollment and highest dropout rates in South Asia, 51 percent and 48 percent respectively. There are 25 million children between the ages of 5 and 16 who are out school, the majority of whom are in Punjab. Of this 25 million, 7 million are of primary school age. In other words, 10 percent of the world’s out-of-school children live in Pakistan.  Girls constitute a larger proportion than boys of the children currently out of school. The national survival rate at the primary level (kindergarten to grade five) is over 60 percent which is the lowest in the region: See Figure 1 for regional comparison.

The British Council’s significant presence in Pakistan since 1948 and experience in the fields of education, health, parliamentary reforms, civil society development, and youth development provides us with strong understanding of and relationship between educational development, public organizational culture, and the wider socio-political, cultural, and security context in which we will operate. We have considerable expertise in developing cascade training, resource materials and toolkits, operational frameworks, and facilitating knowledge sharing workshops. We are well known, respected, and deeply embedded in Pakistani society. Our flagship civil society and youth leadership programme “Active Citizens” has been active in Pakistan since 2009. To date, the programme has worked with over 40,000 young people in collaboration with 30 civil society partners across the country, covering 65 districts. The core offer to civil society partners enables them to work with young people in their respective communities to address social issues through social action projects. This existing model provides a strong base for building up a volunteer force to focus on school enrollment and retention. The British Council’s collaboration with its content and delivery partners brings a unique blend of experience, knowledge, and expertise ranging for working with local youth and community influential’s, linkages to education department, knowledge and understanding of local institutional procedures and local cultural norms, capacity development, monitoring and evaluation, and management of large scale projects.  Bringing all these actors together on a single platform is critical for a successful intervention that aims to improve enrollment and reduce dropouts.

The primary objective of ILMPOSSIBLE: Take a Child to School is to make a major contribution to Educate a Child’s (EAC) mission of providing opportunities to out-of-school children to achieve a full course of primary education Pakistan’s four provinces.


Over 135,000 OOSC enrolled and 80 percent stay in school to complete a full course of primary education

Specific Objectives:

1) Increased number of parents in the target group enroll their children in school.
2) There is strong coordination between community and government stakeholders to facilitate access to schools, enrollment and ensure retention.
3) Life skills education and sports contribute to a positive learning environment in schools.

Overall Project Expected Beneficiaries:

The project will reach 135,000 OOSC between the ages of 5-9 years for enrollment in primary school over the course of three years. The total number will consist of 40% girls and 60% boys. Historically, girls’ enrolment has always been more problematic given the particular cultural and societal norms in countries such as Pakistan. This recommended ratio has been decided upon based on practical considerations where we realize that it will be easier to convince parents to enroll more boys than girls. That said, the project will make every coordinated effort to ensure that an equitable ratio is enrolled.

The project objectives and purpose will be achieved through a combined effort of the British Council, its three strategic partners—CGN, SoL and FAFEN—and 15 delivery partners in year 1 and 30 delivery partners in year 2.

Direct Beneficiaries:

Progress Indicators

Year 2015


Youth trained as trainers by BC


Volunteers trained


Children identified and enrollments


Capacity building trainings with volunteers


Formation of Mohallah Committees


DOSTi Training


Number of supports kits distributed among schools


Number of schools provided basic facilities