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‘Teachers shortage forces 3,500 Balochistan schools to shut down’

Provincial Education Department facing shortage due to political constraints, says provincial minister

By APP
November 20, 2023
Students can be seen at a makeshift school in this undated image. — AFP/File
Students can be seen at a makeshift school in this undated image. — AFP/File

QUETTA: The acute shortage of teachers forced nearly 3,500 schools to shut during the last two months, caretaker Balochistan Education Minister Abdul Qadir Bakhsh Baloch has said. 

"The provincial Education Department has been facing acute shortage of teachers. Due to political and departmental constraints, the department has not been able to recruit teachers since 2019. Moreover, over 300 teachers are retiring every month," he said while talking to APP.

“Without enrolling children in schools, it is impossible to increase the literacy rate in the province,” he added.

The minister said the provincial government has decided to upgrade 150 primary schools to middle in the province, four each in every district.

To a question, Bakhsh said due to last year's flood, more than 5,500 schools in the province were destroyed, and only 50 of them have been repaired so far.

"The international organisations have assured their all-out support to repair the damaged schools," he added.

The minister said the government has decided to establish a model school that would help in the promotion of education in the province.

As per official data, about 0.8 million children of school-going age are out of school in the province, and some 1,964 schools have no building.

Half of the total 12,000 primary schools in Balochistan have one teacher.

Likewise, 11,000 schools do not have electricity, 10,000 do not have water and 1,800 do not have washroom facilities.

“More than 80% of the budget of the Education Department is spent on the salaries of teachers and other employees," the minister said.