File Photo: Girls students studying at a government-run school in Kharotabad area of Quetta: Photo Ashraf Khan

Boosting female literacy in Balochistan


The Balochistan government has decided to launch a stipend program for girls to promote female literacy in the province. The government has allocated Rs. 1.2 billion to pay stipends to girls studying in government-run schools and colleges of Balochistan. The underlying reason behind the launching of this program is to encourage girls to keep continue their studies and curtail the ratio of dropout from schools. This is indeed the right step in the right direction to promote the female literacy rate in Balochistan.

Under the program, the government will be paying Rs. 500 to girls studying in the middle level, Rs. 800 in high and Rs. 1,000 in intermediate. The finance ministry has devised a strategy to ensure transparency in terms of payment of stipends to girls students in the province.

Girls enrolment in government-run schools, colleges is 116,699 in Balochistan 

As per the statistics obtained by this daily from the finance ministry, the number of girls students studying in the middle level is 57,313, high level 28,110, and intermediate 31,276 during the year 2018-19. The number of out of school children most of them girls is over 1 million as per the official data. Successive governments have made tall claims about the enrolment of out-of-school children but no workable plan has been made to enroll them.

Girls dropout High in Balochistan 

The government is yet to share authentic data about the girls’ dropout from schools. However, ground realities showgirls dropout is the highest in Balochistan. The female literacy rate in the resource-rich Dera Bugti district is 2 percent, Sherani 7 percent, and district Killa Abdullah 9 percent. This is indeed an alarming figure. Poverty, long distances, and non-availability of girls’ schools, and female teachers are major causes of poor female literacy rate. The program would help in the reduction of girls drop out of government-run schools and boost their enrolment.

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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.