A recent research from the digital money transfer service World Remit revealed that hundreds of thousands of Pakistani children in schools have access to books and educational supplies due to international remittances. Pakistan is one of the top 10 remittance recipients worldwide and received $21 billion in remittances in 2018.These findings were calculated using data from the United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the World Bank and Pakistan’s latest national household survey. Approximately 220 million children in low and middle-income countries are not in school around the world. Of these, 19 million live in Pakistan, one of the highest numbers of out-of-school of children in the world. According to results, 450,000 children in Pakistan are in school as a result of receiving international remittances, school age children in Pakistan are 40 percent less likely to attend school if their household receives remittances, remittance-receiving households spend more on education equivalent to a child’s set of school-books for the year, children in remittance-receiving households spend less time working on non-school activities, freeing up more time for school studiesWorld Remit also calculates that globally, if traditional, cash-based money transfers were replaced by lower-cost digital alternatives, an additional $825 million would be unlocked for families to spend on children’s education. Savings from “going digital” could pay for the equivalent of 20 million school uniforms, 30 million school books and 16 million sets of school supplies for children in low and middle-income countries. World Remit Pakistan Country Director Hamza Islam in a statement said, “As millions of children in Pakistan go back to school this term, our research is a timely reminder that the contributions of the Diaspora are vital to the education of 450,000 children across the country. Switching to digital remittances would help maximise that even further. With global remittances predicted to rise in 2019, this means even more children are set to benefit.” World Remit is one of the leading digital money transfer companies for the Pakistani Diaspora. Customer surveys reveal that education is one of the top priorities for Pakistanis living abroad, with many saying they support the schooling of children back home.World Remit customers complete 1.3 million transfers every month from over 50 countries to over 145 destinations. The research was compiled by World Remit Research Director Dr Gregory Thwaites, using a combination of UNESCO education statistics, World Bank remittance statistics, Pakistan’s Household Integrated Income & Consumption Survey and World Remit indicators.According to UNESCO, there were over 50 million children of school age in Pakistan in 2017. The World Bank estimates that the total value of international remittances was $689 billion 2018. The average cost of digital remittances across the industry is 27 percent cheaper than offline remittances, according to World Bank data. If all remittances were digital, this would save $14 billion, which would raise expenditure on education by $825 million based on 5.7 percent of household resources typically going to education in the four countries surveyed for this study.Published in Daily Times, January 10th 2019.