Nearly Two Million Children in Balochistan Out of School

Balochistan faces massive education challenges to encourage nearly two million children to return to school.

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Balochistan leaders discuss education challenges. Credit: The author

QUETTA 1.8 million children in Balochistan are out of school, said Sardar Raza Barech, education advisor to Chief Minister (CM) of Balochistan on Monday.

Mr. Barech made the revelation while speaking at a program titled “Education Governance” that was organized by Mishal Pakistan in Quetta Press Club.

According to Barech there are 800 high schools and 1,165 middle schools in Balochistan.

“1.1 million students are admitted to primary schools and only 50,000 of them make it to Matriculation,” added Mr. Barech.

Barech painted a very dismal picture of Balochistan’s education. “The literacy rate among females is just 19 percent and among males is less than 50 percent,” he said.

Admitting the political influence exerted by different groups, Barech stated that education changes are not easy to achieve, but pledged millions in government funding toward improving the education system.

The Baloch advisor failed to properly answer tough questions when asked about issues such as high NTS test fee for education department vacancies. He pleaded ignorance about the matter when asked about threats to college girls in Gwadar.

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Credit: The author

Others who spoke at the occasion include Abdullah Jan, Balochistan information secretary and Raza-ur-Rehman, president of Quetta Press Club. Puruesh Chaudhry, director of Aagahi, was the hostess of the meeting.

Earlier in the meeting, Ms. Chaudhry spoke on the topic of “Government and Media partnership to enhance accountability.”

“There is 1 percent reporting on educational issues in Pakistani electronic media,” said Ms. Chaudhry. She added, “Journalists of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa report on educational issues better than their counter parts in the rest of Pakistan.”

The meeting was attended by several journalists and other media persons.

Mir Behram Baloch is a journalist covering government and social issues in Balochistan. Read other articles by Mir.

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