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Half of Balochistan deprived of education, says official

By Syed Ali Shah

QUETTA: Half of Balochistan's population is deprived of education with the literacy rate in some far-flung areas as low as ten per cent.

This was revealed by Adviser to Chief Minister Balochistan on Education, Sardar Raza Muhammad Bareech while addressing a function with regard to education on Thursday evening.

The Adviser, who is also an educationist, portrayed an extremely bleak and alarming picture of education in the province, already lagging behind other provinces in terms of key social indicators.

He revealed that a government girls high school located in the heart of Quetta with 2500 students had no functional toilet.

He said the reason behind non-availability of toilet was scarcity of water.

"Can you imagine, what would be the plight of girls and boys schools in remote areas of the province," he added.

He said, as per census, there were more than 22,000 settlements in Balochistan and the number of government-run primary, middle and high schools was 12,600 across the province.

Similarly, he informed that the number of government teachers was 57,000.

For full story, links and photos, see: Half of Balochistan deprived of education, says official

"We have to recruit 60,000 teachers to overcome the educational crisis," Sardar Bareech said.

He said there was an urgent need to establish 10,000 schools to ensure provision of education to children in every nook and corner of the province. Sardar Bareech stated that most of the schools were without basic facilities.

"There is no light at the end of the tunnel," he said, adding that the provincial government had no resources to set up such a large number of schools and recruit teachers.

He said the provincial government was resources-starved and the federal government was not ready to support and develop the education sector.

Sardar Bareech stated that currently the department was not doing much for the development of education sector, rather it was just dealing with administrative issues.

Nazar Bareech, the provincial coordinator Institute of Social and Policy Sciences also spoke at length about the declining condition of education in the province.

Balochistan is Pakistan's physically largest and least developed province.

Poverty, worsening law and order situation, financial and social barriers combined with the lackadaisical attitude of concerned quarters are major reasons contributing to the sorry state of education in Balochistan.

Earlier in November, Secretary Education Balochistan Ghullam Ali Baloch had told that only 1.3m out of total 3.6m children were going to schools in the province, a figure way below the numbers of other provinces.