The state of education in Balochistan

By Muhammad Akbar Notezai

It is pertinent to assert that nations can reform and reach the pinnacle of success by virtue of education. Indeed, when Almighty Allah decreed the human beings in incipient time, and HE said to them, “Read in the name of your lord”. Subsequently, last Prophet (PBUH) also exhorted his followers for getting education, but on the other hand, despite living in an Islamic country, educational institutions of Balochistan, the largest province of Pakistan, have been wearing a deserted look for 64 years. It is due to the pigheaded federal and provincial government’s apathy and negligence, and their further same biased attitude may close the doors of education for Baloch students in Balochistan.

As one of the Japanese scholars said, “If you want to keep a nation into the darkness of ignorance, then snatch the right of education from him.” Unfortunately, his this saying is being pursued in Balochistan on Baloch nation because as compared to educational institutions, military garrisons, check posts, police stations and soldiers’  training centers are in great number. It is surprising that educational institutions of Balochistan have been converted somewhat into residing places for soldiers.

The further shattered picture of education can be found in rural and tribal areas of Balochistan. In these areas, hapless students can neither catch the glimpse of their teachers nor can sit in broken buildings of their schools. Majority of male and female teachers of those areas are enjoying the salary in provincial capital Quetta.

As a matter of fact, 70 per cent populations of poverty stricken people are dwelling in rural and tribal areas of Balochistan. They can’t afford to send their children to Quetta for getting quality education; it is the fact that the future of our youth is bleak and lagging in all walks of life.

It is surprising, on these small Human Rights Violations, no one  is raising voice except BSAC (Baloch Students Action Committee) who, despite having limited resource, make every endeavor to highlight and show the bleak picture of education in print and electronic media as well as to dispatch their annual education report to Governor, Chief Minister and ministers for reminding them.

What is irony that Balochistan, despite being the total 43% area of Pakistan blessed with very rich natural resources, like Oil, Gas and minerals, has lowest number of institutions in the country, according to NEC: “Out of total number of institutions in the country, 48 per cent in Punjab, 22 per cent in Sindh, 17 per cent in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 5 per cent in Balochistan”. Staggeringly, in these 5 per cent counted educational institutions of Balochistan barely exists with worsened infrastructure.

Incontrovertibly, on other side, the belligerent situation of Balochistan has also affected the education system of Balochistan substantially. Because in this status quo of Balochistan nearly 98 students have been sadistically killed, which put the other students of Balochistan in trouble, also a great number of students are missing in the province.

In present backbreaking scenario of Balochistan, not only Baloch students are terrorized but also the Pashtun and Hazaras. Lamentably, it is by virtue of so-called democratic government of PPP (Pakistan People’s Party) which hasn’t been grappling the issue seriously in Balochistan, but it’s vice versa, Chief Minister of PPP holds responsible the concomitant circumstances of Balochistan for the worsened education system of Balochistan. As it is apparent that provincial government itself is responsible for the bad condition of education of Balochistan.

Whilst PPP government came into power, the education system of Balochistan faced decline. PPP’s Chief Minister and his toadies not only left education sector but also did in all sectors.

Unthinkably, the well known BRCs (Balochistan Residential Colleges) first time in the history of Balochistan, due to embezzlement of funds, at the time of same government, were about to be closed. They till today have been inducting incompetent, unqualified and their own chosen people into BRCs, which ruined the standard of education at BRCs, too.

The education minister of PPP doesn’t bother himself to go out of Quetta to have a look at the deplorable condition of educational institutions in other areas of Balochistan.

As far as Pashtun belt of Balochistan is concerned, except Pishin district, rest of the districts of Pashtun belt of Balochistan is also replete with the same problems. They face hardships while getting education at their places, reason is due to lack of facilities. Many of the schools and colleges of the Pashtun districts are suffering from red tap-ism.

Punjab, despite being well developed province of Pakistan, its students are being given laptops. But, unfortunately, students of Balochistan don’t have pen and books to read and write. In its opposite when students of Balochistan protest or stage a sit-in for their legal rights they get beaten charged or threshed by Frontier Corpse (F.C) personnel. It signifies that the right of raising voice for their legal rights has also been snatched from them.

Dr. Ababagar Baloch, spokesman of Baloch Students Action committee, said, “Due to mismanaged and misgoverned government education system of Balochistan is not improving. The provincial government has been inducting matriculation passed and unqualified teachers and send them to the rural areas of Balochistan like Gwadar, Washuk, Hub and Chaghi, etc. They rarely go to take classes there, rest of the time they are enjoying their salary in provincial capital Quetta.”

He further gave the figure of Baloch teachers at Balochistan University:  “1 Baloch teacher on grade 20 and 1 on grade 19. Out of 24 associate professors only 1 Baloch associate professor is at Balochistan University, further more, there are 133 assistant professors in which 16 of them are Balochs, 36 professors in which 5 are Balochs and out of 289 lecturers only 43 lecturers are Balochs.”

It means total number of teachers at Balochistan University becomes 482 in which just 65 teachers are Balochs. It is quite surprising to know that these 65 teachers belong to languages departments where non-Balochs can’t come.

Unluckily, number of Baloch teachers’ is alike like Balochistan University at other institutions of the province too, where non local non-Balochs occupied the seats of Baloch teachers without coming through merit.

Moreover, NGOs have been claiming to have spent millions of rupees on schools, colleges and universities of the Balochistan, but if we only have a glance over Quetta’s schools and colleges, it becomes clear like a crystal that money was announced by them only in news papers, who claimed to have used that money on institutions of Balochistan, not in reality, otherwise, if they really would be sincere, then the bad condition of institutions, to some extent, would be improved.

It is worth mentioning that the new appointees, in Aghaz-a-haqooq-Balochistan, came through discrimination, therefore, problems in education sector got compounded further because they junior, recommended and unqualified teachers could not improve the standard of education in the Balochistan. The teachers of Aghaz-a-haqooq-Balochistan package are not being paid salary on time, too. This is the reason they seem less interested in teaching and taking their classes with regularity.

Government, instead of providing so-called packages, at first, they ought to eliminate the role as well as the presence of Frontier Corpse (F.C) personnel in institutions because due their presence at Degree College, Quette, which has compelled a great number of students to migrate and abandon the college. So, its better that government should endeavor to resolve the issue as soon as possible, otherwise, tranquility of Balochistan will be lost forever if students are kept away from getting education.

 (Courtesy to: The Balochistan Point)


About Muhammad Akbar Notezai

Muhammad Akbar Notezai is a columnist-cum-political interviewer. He basically belongs to the largest district of Pakistan, Chaghi, which makes a triangular border with Afghanistan and Iran. He was born in Dalbandin (Headquarter of Chaghi), but presently he is living in Quetta. He contributes to these newspapers and periodicals: the Daily Times, The Baloch Hal, View Point, Bolan Voice, Power Politics (An Indian National Magazine), The Balochistan Point and Daily Balochistan Express, Quetta. In addition, he writes and interviews on social, political, cultural and Economic issues of Balochistan. He also covers Iranian Balochistan and Afghanistan.

Posted on October 2, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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