ASER Baithaks, Village Level Community Meetings

A key to sensitize communities of the importance of quality education

Pakistan │ According to ASER[1] 2012 Report 23% of the school aged children (13% girls and 10% boys) in Pakistan, 6-16, were out of school, but even those enrolled were not learning well. Only 51% of the students enrolled in grade 5 were found to be able to read a story (of Urdu/Sindhi/Pashto). Learning levels were even lower, in English and Maths – of the grade 5 children surveyed only 48% can read English sentences while only 44% can perform 3-digit division.

While in the aftermath of Article 25-A, it is now state’s responsibility to provide free and compulsory education to children aged 5 to 16, the important role of parents and community’s participation to general political demand for quality education is undeniable; community level stakeholders’ participation is still the key to generating educational outcomes.

200 local village level meetings, ASER Baithaks[2], were organized, across 20 districts of Pakistan where the discussion was guided by ASER findings, funded by Open Society Foundations (OSF), and provided participants a chance to discuss the related issues – ranging from poor learning levels, missing facilities at school, quality of teaching, and punctuality of teachers. District government education officials, school teachers, and parents sat together to search novel yet local solutions by overcoming posed hurdles– the aim was to attain 100% enrollment levels and children learning at schools with improved parent-teacher cooperation.

While Baithaks mobilized and empowered citizens to demand quality education for their children, it proved a value addition to the Enrollment Emergency Campaign[3] launched under Chief Minister Punjab’s Schools Reform Roadmap that target children aged 5 to 9 of the 13%[4] Punjab’s OOSC.


ASER Kachehri Mureed Sethar Village (District Shikarpur Sindh)

ASER Kachehri Mureed Sethar Village (District Shikarpur Sindh)



Coauthored by:

  • Safyan Jabbar,

Manager Programs, Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi

ASER Coordinator, Pakistan



  • Saheem Khizar,

Assistant Monitoring & Evaluation Coordinator, USAID-DRDF

ASER Volunteer


[1] ASER 2012 (

[2] One such ASER Baithak, conducted in a village of District Shikarpur, could be viewed at:


[4] ASER 2012 (


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