The recently concluded Pakistan Literary Festival in Quetta provided a unique platform for dialogue, reflection, and exploration. As the Chief Minister of Balochistan, Mir Sarfaraz Bugti, aptly stated, the challenges faced by the region—education, health, and development—stem from internal factors that demand our attention.

Education: A Struggle for Quality and Access

Balochistan’s education sector faces significant hurdles. Despite substantial budget allocations, the quality of education remains subpar. Minister Rahila Durrani highlighted the stark discrepancy between the number of schools built and their maintenance. While over 1.1 million students are enrolled, nearly 3 million children remain out of school. A coherent strategy is urgently needed to bridge this gap and ensure quality education for all.

Intellectual Focus and National Progress

Dr. Khalid Hafeez emphasized the critical link between educational focus and national development. Hiring unqualified educators has compromised the quality of learning. Dr. Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui called for a comprehensive overhaul of the education system, emphasizing knowledge over financial gains. Dr. Ziaul Hasan stressed the need for the Higher Education Commission to prioritize research alongside degree attainment. Ghazi Salahuddin’s enthusiasm for global campuses underscores the importance of diverse perspectives and innovative ideas.

Cultural Vibrancy and Collaborative Solutions

The Quetta Literary Festival brought together politicians, artists, poets, and journalists. Their insightful dialogues underscored the festival’s role as a cultural and educational hub. Sadiqa Salahuddin rightly pointed out that educational challenges are not unique to Balochistan but affect all provinces. The reliance on donors for educational improvements calls for a national commitment to reform.

Conclusion: A Brighter Future

Balochistan’s intellectual, political, and cultural depth is rich and multifaceted. By addressing education, fostering innovation, and nurturing collaboration, we can pave the way for a brighter future—one where Balochistan’s potential is fully realized.

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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.