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Balochistan survives the cataclysm of out of school children

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By Sher Jan Shohaz

The issue of out of school children is seemed a bigger threat than terrorism and insurgency to the country. It boasts the grievance and incognizance of our new generation by nurturing them rich to perform every related aspect of ignorance that results us face the deep rooted issues. However, the children from Balochistan remain the most abandoned of all other children countrywide, the reason behind this is lasting futile immersion of our government. 

The resource-rich Balochistan is undoubtedly known for its natural resources across the world. But, it pains to pen that 70 percent of its children are out of school, which is a bigger menace than poverty, unemployment and even terrorism to the province.

The dismal condition of education in the province always claims loud wails in medias and newspapers, but, sadly, the wails have restrictively been limited only on the headlines of the televisions. The high claims, made on the update of our abysmal sector of education, have never been brought to end by introducing a developed method in order to reform it. 

According to a federal government report around 22.84 million children are still out-of-school in Pakistan out of which Balochistan is demesne to the highest proportion with 70% followed by 57% in FATA. 

The province, topping the list of out of school children in the country with 70, presents a gloomy picture of high illiteracy ratio. In the province, more than 12,500 primary schools are estimated and among them 7000 schools are without classrooms, teachers, furniture, shelters which are really seemed in deteriorating condition for some teachers to be on their duties.  Secondly, there are more than 5000 ghost teachers, whose presences are visible for getting wages instead of performing their duties on daily basis. 

A report reveals that 2,200 schools lack shelters, including 5,000 schools with a single teacher in the province.

Owing to it, the province continues to suffer from the Lowest literacy rate which stands at 41% whereas the literacy rate in Punjab, Sindh and KP are 62%, 55% and 53% respectively. High rate of illiteracy is always a core cause of several problems in underdeveloped societies. 

Though the successive government made tall claims to immediately make the enrollment of children possible in schools a long ago, but, it still holds the same maintenance of illiteracy ratio, even estimated enhanced.

According to the budget analysis, there is always a major decline in Baluchistan’s education budget. The total development budget for 2016-2017 is Rs. 71 billion out of which the education sector receives only 9 % i.e. Rs. 6.4 billion. Last year’s development budget is 36 % lower than the allocated budget of Rs.10 billion in 2015-2016. In 2016-2017, the development budget has been slashed by 42 % to Rs.4.4 billion.

Out of the total budget for education, 88% goes into payments for salaries and other expenditures and only 12% is spend on providing facilities to students.

Immediate steps must be taken to restructure the province’s worsening education system by increasing the budget on education each year, and the available resources: produce from Balochistan, should be utilized in a proper way in protection and development of the resource-rich province. Also, the large number of out of school children’s enrollment must be made possible as soon as possible. 

The writer is a student of B.A. in Atta Shad Degree College from Turbat. He can be reached at: sherjanshohaz61@gmail.com

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