Majority of Girls in Balochistan Out of School

58 percent of government schools in Balochistan operate with only one teacher.


Credit: Times of Pakistan

QUETTA — In the Pakistani province of Balochistan, speakers at a conference on education said that the post 18th amendment devolution made education a provincial subject, forcing provinces to take charge and be responsible to improve the state of education for their population.

ILM-O-AGAHI, an initiative which aims to strengthen institutions and advance education, organized an editors’ round table meeting which concluded that “Balochistan is the most neglected province in education, it continues to deteriorate not only in physical infrastructure but also human capital.”

A number of senior journalists, bureau-chiefs and editors from leading national and regional newspapers, radio broadcasters and television channels participated in the seminar.

Earlier in the day a training workshop on education journalism was also organized and attended by more than 30 journalists reporting on education from various news organizations.

Addressing the participants, Mubashir Zaidi, senior journalist and the lead trainer for the education journalism workshop said, doing good journalism stories are crucial but both journalists and policy makers should start using data on education to improve the state of education in Balochistan. Journalists identify community’s needs and can play a key role in setting the priorities of governments.

While sharing his views, ILM-o-AGAHI Program Manager Asif Farooqui said that Pakistani media lacks a framework to appreciate quality journalism on education. He further briefed that this year the AGAHI Awards will have special categories on education.

According to Alif Ailaan’s Pakistan District Education Rankings 2014, Balochistan ranks lowest in education among provinces and territories. There is an alarming shortage of teachers in the province; 58 percent of the total government primary schools operate with only one teacher. The report also reveals that 62 percent of girls between the ages 5-16 years are out of school in Balochistan.

baloch girls school

Figure 1: Alif Ailaan Pakistan District Education Rankings 2014: Provincial and National Education Scores

Through the ILM-O-AGAHI initiative, 18 education journalism workshops have been held across Pakistan in the last two months. In each workshop, more than 30 education reporters participated in daylong sessions.

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These workshops were aimed to engage the journalists reporting on education. The journalists participated in these workshops through interactive sessions, role-playing exercises and peer review of their news content development skills.

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