Abdul Qadir Bakhsh Baloch, the Caretaker Education Minister of Balochistan, highlighted the critical challenges faced by the education sector in the province. He revealed that around 3,500 schools have been shut down in the last two months due to a severe shortage of teachers.
The Education Department has been unable to recruit new teachers since 2019 due to political and departmental constraints, compounded by the fact that over 300 teachers retire each month.
The Balochistan government plans to upgrade 150 primary schools to middle schools, with four schools in each district, to enhance educational facilities. Bakhsh also addressed the impact of last year’s floods, which destroyed over 5,500 schools in the province, with only 50 being repaired. However, he noted that international organizations have pledged comprehensive support to repair these damaged schools. Additionally, the government aims to establish a model school to promote education in Balochistan.
Official data indicates that approximately 800,000 school-age children in Balochistan are out of school, and nearly 1,964 schools lack proper buildings. Half of the 12,000 primary schools in the province operate with just one teacher.
Furthermore, 11,000 schools lack electricity, 10,000 are without water supply, and 1,800 do not have washroom facilities. The minister emphasized the financial strain on the Education Department, with over 80% of its budget allocated to salaries, leaving limited resources for infrastructure and other essential needs.