More than 15 lakh students are enrolled in about 12,879 madrasas in Pakistan and its occupied Kashmir, according to an official survey.
Upto 1,549,242 students are studying in a total of 12,153 seminaries across the country, the survey said. Over 10,500 children are enrolled in madrasas in capital Islamabad.
Apart from these 12,153, there are 826 other seminaries that refused to provide a record of their students and teachers to the census conductors, Daily Times reported on Saturday.
Punjab province topped the list with 5,459 seminaries having 6.74 lakh students.
Out of 1,935 religious schools in Sindh, 1,816 provided the government with their data, showing 313,693 students as enrolled there.
The North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) has a total of 2,843 religious schools but 275 of them refused to reveal data. The remaining 2,568 madrasas accommodate 336,983 students and 12,058 teachers.
The province of Balochistan has 769 seminaries. The government could collect data from 670 of them, which houses 65,000 students, while the other 99 refused to cooperate.
Pakistan-occupied Kashmir has 568 seminaries out of which 491 provided data to the government, showing 46,429 students as enrolled there. Islamabad had 77 seminaries out of which 15 refused to reveal their official records to the surveyors. The remaining 62 seminaries have an enrolment of 10,557 students.
In the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), only 92 seminaries, out of a total of 135, cooperated with the government.