Abandoned School Buildings
An abandoned school building in Balochistan's Killa Saifullah district in Kanchoghi area: Photo Ikram Khan

Abandoned School Buildings


Countless buildings constructed for the purpose of government-run schools in Balochistan are either abandoned or occupied. Various successive governments upgraded schools from primary to middle and middle to high in different parts of Balochistan. Governments allocated funds for the construction of buildings for the purpose of schools but failed to appoint teachers to make them functional.

Buildings constructed for schools either abandoned by the education department or occupied by powerful elements in rural Balochistan. The education sector paints a bleak picture in remote-areas of Balochistan.

The Balochistan High Court (BHC) bench deserves to be appreciated for taking notice of this issue. The divisional bench of BHC comprising Justice Kamran Khan Malakhail and Justice Abdullah Baloch directed the Chief Secretary to convene a meeting of provincial secretaries to evolve a mechanism in this regard.

The government should identify all abandoned/occupied school buildings throughout Balochistan and report this to the court, the bench ordered. The BHC passed this order on a petition filed by a person from the Sanjavi area of Ziarat.

Sher Khan Bazai, the provincial secretary education and advocate general Arbab Tahir Advocate when confronted with this grim situation sought time from the court.

Schools upgraded on a political basis in Balochistan 

Over the years, the successive governments allocated substantial funds for the construction of schools and their upgradation. It has been witnessed that the ruling coalition partners upgraded and approved new schools without the consultation of the education department. They constructed new school buildings despite the existence of old ones. 

Merit ignored in terms of upgradation of schools as ministers preferred to establish and upgrade schools to please their voters. In one village, three schools established, whereas, another village of a political opponent without a school. This resulted in the deprivation of children from schooling.

School buildings occupied by tribally influential people 

Subsequently, a large number of buildings constructed for the purpose of government-run schools are either abandoned or occupied by tribally influential people. The education department failed to make the school functional and provide teachers. In Balochistan, over 5,000 teachers were appointed during 2015 through Natation Testing Service (NTS). Since then, no teacher has been appointed. However, thousands retired from service during this period. The appointment of over 9,000 teachers through CTSP is still in pending. Thousands of vacancies are lying vacant in the education department.

The Balochistan government allocated over Rs. 63 billion only for secondary education during the financial budget for the year 2020-21. Most of the budget goes on account of salaries of teachers rather than the promotion and development of the education sector.

Identifying abandoned/ occupied buildings constructed for the purpose of schools is a right step in the right direction. The buildings need to be made functional and the government must evacuate them from influential people and provide teaching staff to enroll out of school children.

Abandoned School Buildings

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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.