QUETTA: Abdul Qadir Bakhsh Baloch, the Caretaker Minister for Education in Balochistan, revealed on Monday that approximately 3,500 schools in the province had to be closed in the past two months due to a severe shortage of teachers.
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Addressing the issue, he stated, “The Provincial Education Department is grappling with a critical shortage of teachers. Hindered by both political and departmental constraints, the department has been unable to recruit teachers since 2019. Additionally, more than 300 teachers retire each month.”
Qadir Bakhsh emphasized that boosting the literacy rate in the province is impossible without actively enrolling children in schools. He announced that the caretaker government has taken the initiative to upgrade 150 primary schools to middle schools, with four schools designated for each district.
Responding to inquiries, he mentioned that last year’s flood had destroyed over 5,500 schools in the province, with only 50 of them repaired to date. He added, “International organizations have pledged comprehensive support to repair the damaged schools.”
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The provincial education minister revealed that the government plans to establish a model school to facilitate the advancement of education in the province. Official data indicates that approximately 0.8 million school-age children in the province are out of school, and 1,964 schools lack proper infrastructure. Half of Balochistan’s 12,000 primary schools operate with just one teacher.
Furthermore, 11,000 schools lack electricity, 10,000 lack water facilities, and 1,800 have inadequate washroom facilities. “More than 80% of the Education Department’s budget is allocated to salaries for teachers and other staff,” highlighted the minister.
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