Our impact

British Asian Trust

South Asia has the highest number of out-of-school children in the world. Thirty-two million children are not enrolled in schools, including 11.3 million at primary level. Only one-third of those who do enrol in primary school achieve basic literacy and numeracy skills by grade 4.

Forty per cent of the 27 million children born each year, in India, will not complete secondary education, and only one in every two girls will. Only half of pupils who have completed five years of schooling can complete a basic maths sum.

One-in-four primary-aged children and over half of secondary-aged children, in Pakistan, are not in school. The situation is far worse for girls; among the poorest sections of society, 70% of primary-aged girls are out of school.

Across the region, as children get older, girls are more likely to drop out of education than boys. Almost half of women aged 20-24 in South Asia were married before the age of 18.


Our local partners

Dream a Dream
The Education Alliance (TEA)

Teachers Resource Centre (TRC)
Agha Khan University

If I hadn’t run away, I would be married by now, tending goats out in the nowhere. I want to be a teacher to encourage other girls to fight for their education.

Ponri, 13

Future focus

We are delighted to have fulfilled our aim to convene a US$11m fund for education in South Asia. Working in coalition with cross-sector partners, our new programme will improve literacy and numeracy learning levels for more than 300,000 primary school children from marginalised communities in India.

Improving education in India reduces drop-out rates, delays early marriage for girls and unlocks potential. The programme will focus on four education interventions: teacher training, principal training, remedial education for slower learners and whole school development. Over the course of the programme, we anticipate developing a model for system-level change that could ultimately benefit millions of children.