A primary school in Balochistan's Killa Abdullah district Killi Machka: Photo By Asmat Khan Asmat

Education Desk:

Over 3,200 government-run schools across Balochistan have been found ghost and non-functional in Balochistan, the country’s least developed province. The news of non-functional and ghost schools also echoed during the Balochistan Assembly session on Friday afternoon.

The education department is trying to evolve a strategy to trace out ghost schools and make non-functional schools, functional in the province, Secretary Secondary Education, Ghulam Ali Baloch told the daily Quetta Voice. Most of the ghost and non-functional schools are also located in Killa Abdullah, Dera Bugti, Barkhan, Kohlu, Pishin and other districts of the province.

The number of government-run primary, middle and high schools in the province is over 13,000 across Balochistan. The province has allocated over Rs. 70 bs for the education sector, the second-highest allocation after the public sector development program (PSDP) in the budget for the financial year 2020-21.

“Despite huge allocation, thousands of schools are still closed, non-functional”, Syed Ehsan Shah, the member provincial assembly from Balochistan’s district Kech lamented during the budget session.

One of the underlying reasons behind non-functional schools is a persistent delay in terms of appointment of teachers in Balochistan. Last time, over 5,000 teachers were recruited through national testing service during 2015. Since then, no teacher has been appointed. Although, over 15,000 vacancies of teaching and non-teaching staff are lying vacant in the province for years.

“This is really a big challenge”, Ghulam Ali Baloch said while referring to non-functional and ghost schools in the province.

In every budget, schools are upgraded, followed by the inauguration of buildings across the province by successive governments. However, without teachers, the buildings have been giving a deserted look. “Thousands of schools are closed and non-functional, despite tall claims of government”, Muhammad Akbar Mengal, the member provincial assembly from Khuzdar asserted during the budget session.

Apart from this, the number of one-teacher, one-room schools is around 5,200, Ghulam Ali Baloch, the Secretary education informed. The finance department regretted the construction of additional rooms for such one-room schools proposed by the education department during the current budget, Mr. Baloch mentioned.

Balochistan stands behind all other provinces in terms of key social indicators i.e education, health, drinking water, sanitation etc. The province is faced with worst governance coupled with meager resources to develop scattered population since it covers half of the country in terms of area.


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About the Author

Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.