The pathetic situation of education in Balochistan
There is no denying the fact that nations can reform and reach the pinnacle of success through education. Our last Prophet (PBUH) also exhorted his followers to seek education, but pathetically despite living in an Islamic country the educational institutions of Balochistan, the area wise largest province of Pakistan, have been wearing a deserted look for the last 65 years due to the apathy and negligence of the federal as well as the provincial governments and their biased attitude may close the doors of education to the students of Balochistan.
As a Japanese scholar said: “If you want to keep a nation into the darkness of ignorance, then snatch the right of education from that nation.” Unfortunately, it seems to be repeated in Balochistan, because as compared to educational institutions, as Senator Sana Baloch said, “Military garrisons, check posts, police stations and soldiers’ training centers are in great number in the province.
The further shattered the picture of education can be found in rural and tribal areas of Balochistan where hapless students can neither see their teachers nor can they sit in the ramshackle buildings of their schools. Majority of male and female teachers of those areas get salaries while sitting in the provincial capital Quetta.
As a matter of fact, 70 per cent populations of poverty-stricken people dwell in rural and tribal areas of Balochistan and can’t afford to send their children to Quetta for getting quality education; it is a fact that the future of our youth is bleak.
Surprisingly, on these small human rights violations no one is raising voice except BSAC (Baloch Students Action Committee) which despite having limited resources made 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 the governor, the chief minister and ministers for reminding them.
It is an ironic that Balochistan, despite being the 43% area of Pakistan and blessed with rich natural resources like oil, gas and minerals, has the lowest number of educational institutions. According to the NEC, out of the total number of institutions in the country, 48 per cent are in Punjab, 22 per cent in Sindh, 17 per cent in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 5 per cent in Balochistan”.
On the other side, the law and order situation has substantially affected the educational system of Balochistan where nearly 100 students have been killed and a great number of students are missing. In the present scenario, not only Baloch students are terrorized, but also Pashtun and Hazaras. Lamentably, the PPP government hasn’t been grappling the issue seriously.
Unthinkably, the well-known BRCs (Balochistan Residential Colleges) for the first time in the history of Balochistan are about to be closed due to embezzlement of funds. They are inducting incompetent, unqualified teachers, which has ruined the standard of education.
The education minister of Balochistan doesn’t bother to go out of Quetta to have a look at the deplorable condition of educational institutions in other areas of Balochistan. As far as the Pashtun belt of Balochistan is concerned, except Pishin district, the rest of the districts of Pashtun belt also face the same problem. Many of the schools and colleges of Pashtun districts suffer from red tapism.
The students of the well-developed Punjab province of Pakistan are being given laptops. But, unfortunately, the students of Balochistan don’t have pen and books to read and write. On the contrary, when the students of Balochistan protest or stage a sit-in for their legal rights, they get clubbed or threshed. This signifies that the right of raising voice for legal rights has also been snatched from them.
Dr. Arbabagar Baloch, spokesman for Baloch Students Action committee, said: “Due to mismanaged and misgoverned government the education system of Balochistan is not improving. The provincial government has been inducting unqualified teachers and sending them to the rural areas of Balochistan like Gwadar, Washuk, Hub and Chaghi, etc. They rarely go to take classes and enjoy the rest of the time in Quetta.”
Moreover, the NGOs have been claiming to spend millions of rupees on schools, colleges and universities of the Balochistan, but if we cast a glance at Quetta’s schools and colleges, it becomes clear that the money was announced by them only in newspapers but not in reality. If they had been sincere, the bad condition of institutions would have 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 unqualified teachers could not improve the standard of education in 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.
The government, instead of providing packages, at first ought to play its role for improving the education of Balochistan seriously. Also, it’s better that the government should endeavor to resolve the educational issues as soon as possible, otherwise, the tranquility of Balochistan will be lost forever if students are kept away from getting education.
(Courtesy to: Weekly Pulse)