Ground Realities of Political Slogan on Education Reforms in Balochistan
By Shehbaz Azam Khetran
Education is the ultimate truth of intellectual and physical development. Balochistan is a deprived province with no more fragrance of educational activities. The government is motivated to eliminate the intellectual poverty with gun and jail, although the ruling government is raising the slogans of educational reforms in Balochistan. But unfortunately, the facts and figures are exhibiting something else. According to the Aliff Alan District Education Ranking 2015 the education rate of Balochistan is just 55.99% with provincial ranking of 7/8. According to Aliff Ailaan, the number of primary school in province is 10,585; among them middle schools are 1,165 whilst secondary schools are 783, and higher secondary schools are 43. In gender distribution just 3,506 Schools for female and 9,027 for boys. The availability of teachers in schools is also not satisfactory. Data shows that there are only 17,136 teachers for primary schools, 10,012 for middle schools, 15,139 for secondary schools and 1,334 for higher secondary schools. The gender distribution is 14,081 female and 29,540 male teachers.
The learning outcomes are also very disastrous in the province that 58% of the student at primary level even cannot read story in Urdu, 57% cannot read a sentence in English, and 67% cannot solve two digits division. If situation remains same then it would be beyond the expectations that universal literacy assigned rate will be achieved and would be peace in Balochistan. The net enrollment rate at primary schools is somewhat better, like 65% boy, 42% girl and total 55%. But in middle schools the enrollment rate of boys is 36% while the girl is just 17% which makes a total of 28% enrollment in middle schools which is very low graded. The enrollment at high school level is very disastrous in which the enrollment of boys is 19% enrollment of girls are only 7% making a total of 14% enrollment at high school level. The dropout level at primary level is also negating the slogans of education emergency of provincial government in Balochistan that the dropout level of boys at primary school is 46% and girls is 55%, so the total the dropout at primary level is 50%.
The cause of huge dropout level is lack of access to schools, lack of facilities in schools and poor financial condition of the people. Let us now through a light glance on the infrastructure of the school in the province. The provincial government is busy in making people fool through print and electronic media just chanting slogan of education emergency in Balochistan but the data shows another picture. The school infrastructure score of the province is just 32.63%. The schools which don’t have facility of electricity in mineral rich province are 31%. Water is very necessary for human being but the students of Balochistan are deprived of water facility in 82% of their schools for 65 years. Around 85% schools don’t have facility of toilets and 64% schools are without boundary walls. It has been noticed that in Panjgur district of Balochistan the terrorist organization named Tanzeem al-furqan-ul-islam threatened the people to not send their girls to schools for education, so despite making security measure the province doesn’t have boundary walls of about 33% schools. And 74% of girls’ schools in province are deprived of toilet facilities. The proportion of schools where building condition is not satisfactory rate is 75%.
Moreover, there are 34% primary schools which have only one classroom and one teacher for all grade of primary level and the class room ratio in primary school is 2.1. The pupil teacher ratio in primary schools is 32:1, the teacher school ratio in primary schools is 2:1 and the most disastrous the primary schools with single teachers are 57%. This is the original face of the performance of so called nationalist and middle class government of the Balochistan. The situation cannot be improved until the provincial and the federal government changes their negligent attitude toward Balochistan. The provincial including federal government and the network of NGO’s should make it priority to established schools and provision of quality education to the deprived children of mineral rich province.
The writer is student of BS Education program at International Islamic University Islamabad.