The Caretaker Balochistan Education Minister, Abdul Qadir Bakhsh Baloch, has disclosed that approximately 3,500 schools in the province have had to shut down in the past two months due to a severe shortage of teachers.
Addressing the issue, he explained, “The provincial Education Department is grappling with a critical lack of teachers. Owing to political and departmental constraints, the department has been unable to hire new teachers since 2019. Furthermore, with over 300 teachers retiring monthly, the situation has exacerbated.”
He emphasized, “Boosting the literacy rate in the province is impossible without enrolling children in schools.”
In response to the crisis, the minister revealed that the provincial government has taken the initiative to upgrade 150 primary schools to middle schools across the province, with four schools designated for each district.
Responding to queries, Bakhsh highlighted that more than 5,500 schools in the province were destroyed due to last year’s flood, and only 50 of them have been repaired to date. He expressed gratitude for the international organizations pledging full support for the reconstruction of the damaged schools.
The minister further announced the government’s plan to establish a model school aimed at fostering educational development in the province.
Official data indicates that around 0.8 million school-age children in Balochistan are currently out of school, and 1,964 schools lack proper infrastructure. Notably, half of the total 12,000 primary schools in Balochistan operate with only one teacher. Additionally, 11,000 schools lack electricity, 10,000 lack water, and 1,800 lack basic washroom facilities.
Highlighting the financial challenges, Bakhsh revealed, “More than 80% of the Education Department’s budget is allocated to the salaries of teachers and other staff.”