Education Emergency in Balochistan: 3,500 Schools Shut Down in 2 Months Due to Teacher Shortage

Balochistan, a province in Pakistan, is facing an education crisis as approximately 3,500 schools have closed in the past two months due to a severe shortage of teachers. The provincial Education Minister, Abdul Qadir Bakhsh Baloch, revealed that political and departmental constraints since 2019 have hindered the hiring of new teachers, exacerbating the situation with over 300 teachers retiring monthly. To address the issue, the government plans to upgrade 150 primary schools to middle schools across the province. However, more than 5,500 schools were damaged by last year’s flood, with only 50 repaired so far.

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The international community has pledged support for the reconstruction of these damaged schools. Official data indicates that 0.8 million school-age children in Balochistan are currently out of school, and 1,964 schools lack proper infrastructure. Shockingly, half of the 12,000 primary schools in the province operate with only one teacher, while 11,000 lack electricity, 10,000 lack water, and 1,800 lack basic washroom facilities. Bakhsh emphasized that over 80% of the Education Department’s budget is allocated to salaries, revealing financial challenges. Despite the hurdles, the minister announced plans to establish a model school to foster educational development in the province, highlighting the urgency of addressing the crisis to improve literacy and education access.

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